The Employment Law Show

Termination without cause: What you need to know | Employment Law Show TV – S5 E13

Episode Summary

TERMINATION WITHOUT CAUSE, repeated temporary layoffs, working notice, and more on Season 5 Episode 13 of the Employment Law Show with employment lawyer Lior Samfiru, Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Watch above to discover your workplace rights and learn everything you need to know about employment law in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta, on the only employment law show on both TV and radio in Canada.

Episode Notes

Employee rights in regards to temporary layoffs

I was recalled to work after a layoff but three months later, I’ve been put on a temporary layoff again and I don’t know when I’m going to be called back. What are my rights in this situation?

Lior explains that by accepting an initial temporary layoff, an employee is giving their employer the right to implement a layoff in the future.

Segment starts at 2:10

CALL: Working notice offered instead of severance

I was let go without cause after 15 years working for a company in an IT role. They’ve offered me working notice instead of severance pay, along with vacation pay. The termination letter says if I accept their offer, I can’t go after them if there’s a dispute.

Employees are owed the vacation they have accrued up to the point of termination. However, it is important to also take into consideration how much severance employees are owed.

Segment starts at 5:35

Another temporary layoff

Can my employer put me on another temporary layoff because of the ongoing impact of COVID-19?

Lior explains that if an employee was previously put on a layoff and consented to it, unfortunately, their employer can put them on another layoff.

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Temporary layoff

Segment starts at 8:10

Termination without cause: What you need to know

1️⃣ What does it mean to be terminated without cause by your employer?

Termination without cause is the most common form of termination, it is a catch-all term that refers to termination that is not due to misconduct or something an employee has done.

Segment begins at 12:36

2️⃣ Can you get Employment Insurance if you have been fired without cause?

Employment insurance is not affected if an employee is terminated without cause. Termination for cause can potentially disqualify an employee from claiming E.I.

Segment begins at 14:14

3️⃣ Does an employer owe severance to an employee let go without cause (for example, two weeks’ pay)?

An employer is allowed to let an employee go without cause as long as they offer the employee proper severance entitlements. There are a number of factors that determine an employee’s severance, such as age, length of service, and position.

Segment begins at 15:30

4️⃣ Does an employee have to sign termination papers right away or accept a severance offer by a deadline?

Termination papers often include a deadline as a strategy in order to pressure employees into signing a release and possibly inadequate severance. Legal rights do not expire for two years after termination.

Segment begins at 18:06

5️⃣ Can the government help with severance in a termination without cause?

The government can only help an employee pursue the minimum entitlements and cannot help an employee seek their full severance. Filing a claim with the government can lead to an employee giving up their rights to full severance pay.

Segment begins at 19:35

6️⃣ How does an employment contract factor into a termination?

Employers can include termination clauses in their employment contracts that can potentially limit their future severance. In many cases, these termination terms are not enforceable.

Segment begins at 21:15

CALL: Terminated due to alcohol addiction

I was fired from my job as a truck mechanic due to an alcohol addiction, which my doctor was aware of. I received a termination letter after missing a few days of work, and my severance and vacation pay are in the mail.

Lior explains that alcoholism is considered a disability. If an employee is affected by this disability, they cannot be fired due to this condition as it is a human rights violation. Employers have a duty to accommodate employees with a disability.

Segment starts at 22:27

CALL: No severance pay offered after the company was sold

My sister was laid off after 31 years with a company when their assets were acquired by another company. She was handed a form letter that said her services were no longer required, but she wasn’t given any severance pay.

Termination without cause entitles an employee to proper severance pay. An employee that has been employed for 31 years will be owed a substantial amount of severance pay. If a company has shut down, they are not relieved of their severance obligations.

Segment starts at 26:19

NEXT EPISODE: Employment Law Show S5 E14 – What Federally Regulated Employees Need to Know

PREVIOUS EPISODE: Employment Law Show S5 E12 – Employment Law True or False

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