Unless you have been avoiding all forms of media for the past week, you will likely be aware that Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8, 2022. In response, Prime Minister Trudeau has declared September 19, 2022, the date of the Queen’s funeral, to be a federal day of mourning.
So what does that mean for the common Ontario employee? Do you finally get another government-approved day off, something that Ontarians have been asking Premier Doug Ford for since the beginning of the pandemic?
Unless you work for the federal government, the answer is unfortunately no. Under the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”), those lucky few Ontario employees who are federal workers will get the day off to mourn. What about Ontario employees who are not working in federally regulated industries such as Banks, Airlines and telecommunications, who are not governed by the CLC? Will they get the day off too? Unfortunately, the answer is no, unless their employers decide to give their employees the day off themselves.
Extra statutory holidays aren’t the only benefit enjoyed by federal workers under the CLC. Employees governed by the CLC can only be terminated for “just cause,” with essentially every other reason for termination having been found illegal by the Supreme Court of Canada under the CLC.
It is important to note that under the CLC if your position is made redundant, you may still file an unjust dismissal complaint (if you meet the eligibility criteria) as you may disagree with your employer’s stated reason for termination. You can file an unjust dismissal complaint under Part III of the CLC, as long as you have been employed for at least 12 months and are employed in a non-senior managerial role.
Most importantly, if your employment is governed by the CLC and you have been terminated without cause, one of the remedies available to you is reinstatement, with back pay. This remedy allows CLC employees to enjoy job security previously only enjoyed by unionized employees under collective bargaining agreements.
CLC employees do not have to worry about cost consequences for an unsuccessful unjust dismissal complaint, making it a good idea to contact a lawyer if you are a CLC employee and find yourself in this position. In addition, the staff of Human Resources Canada are made available to assist with organizing and hosting the claim, including hiring an Adjudicator and making space available for a hearing – free of charge. Adjudicators are empowered to order anything.
These companies are large and powerful, but the CLC certainly levels the playing field for federally regulated employees. To enable your rights, claims have to be filed within 90 days of the termination date. If you are terminated without cause, don’t delay, contact a lawyer right away.
Lecker & Associates is a Toronto employment law firm that has fought for employees for over 35 years. Our experienced employment lawyers act as employee-side legal counsel. We have represented clients in thousands of cases involving wrongful dismissal, constructive and will offer you a no-charge initial consultation if we recommend that you proceed. We also deal with all aspects of employment law in Ontario including: employment contracts, sexual harassment in the workplace, and short- and long-term disability claims.