People often used the term “laid off” to describe a termination due to a shortage of work. That is not what it means. A layoff pursuant to the Employment Standards Act
(ESA) happens when an employee is temporarily sent home with some expectation that they will be recalled to work when things pick up. That is not a termination.
Today, a just cause quiz. If you are not in a union, an employer does not need any reason to terminate your employment. If there is just cause, however, you don’t get any severance package. If there is not just cause for your termination, you do.
Aazim worked for in an oil-field in Alberta taking care of tailing ponds. He was a pump operator and his job was to make sure that everything was working properly so that nothing leaked out. He is a black man of Arabic descent. A few years after he started, when the winter season came, he was transferred to the shop until spring.
The most important term in any employment contract is the termination clause. Everything else changes: wages, job description, vacation entitlement, and even the benefit plan details.
The Employment Standards Act
of Ontario sets out minimum entitlements for employees. It covers everything from minimum wage to overtime to parental leaves.
Among many other things, human rights codes across the country prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of a disability. If an employee cannot perform all aspects of their job, the employer has to find a way to accommodate them. The only defence available to the employer is to establish that: 1) the task the employee cannot do is a reasonable and bona fide
part of the job and 2) it would be an undue hardship on the employer to accommodate that limitation.
About five years ago, Karen owned a scented candle stall in a market in London, Ontario. One day she hired a friend to work part of the day at the stall. Her friend was transgender. She brought two friends who were also transgender.
When people are terminated from their employment, it is often a time to pause and reflect. Those reflections sometimes lead to a desire for a new career path.
Henney worked for a franchise of a large restaurant chain in Newfoundland for 13 years before she moved to Ottawa in 1999. She found work with a new franchise owner of the same chain there. Because of her previous experience in Newfoundland, she was treated as if she had 7 years of seniority with the new employer when she arrived.
One of the most challenging issues that I deal with as an employment lawyer, whether I am counseling an employee or employer, is references.