The reality is that an employer need not show “cause” to terminate employment. There is no guarantee of a permanent job. Subject to certain conditions or statutory considerations the only obligation on an employer is to provide notice or pay in lieu.
However, there are dismissals “with cause” and dismissals “without cause” and often other issues as well. This is why it is important for you to know your rights either before you are terminated if you feel you are being mistreated or after dismissal and before you agree to an offer of notice from your employer.
The law is not always black and white, so it is important that you seek legal assistance to ensure you have the proper information and resources to protect yourself.
Here are two of the most common employment law issues.
Most terminations in Ontario are “without cause” meaning an employer can dismiss the employee without justification as long as the employee is given reasonable notice and related severance.
If no cause exists yet the employer dismisses the employee without providing lawful notice, then it is considered a wrongful dismissal and will allow the employee to claim monetary damages in an amount that compensates the employee for the wages, commissions, bonuses, profit sharing and other such entitlements the employee would have earned or received during the lawful notice period.
Where an employer fails to provide such compensation, or seeks to provide inadequate compensation, an employee may enforce their legal rights with a claim to compensation for wrongful dismissal.
When an employer unilaterally changes the essential or fundamental character of the terms of employment of an employee this may be considered constructive dismissal. If there has been a substantial cut in pay, or authority or position or the employer makes significant changes that results in a demotion or significant reduction in salary this may be grounds for constructive dismissal. If there are significant changes in your hours of work or work location or you are being abused or harassed by your employer this too may be grounds for constructive dismissal.