Termination of Employment Defined
As given on the Ontario Ministry of Labour, “A number of expressions are commonly used to describe situations when employment is terminated. These include “let go,” “discharged,” “dismissed,” “fired” and “permanently laid off.” Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) a person’s employment is terminated if the employer:
- dismisses or stops employing an employee, including an employee who is no longer employed due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of the employer;
- “constructively” dismisses an employee and the employee resigns, in response, within a reasonable time;
- lays an employee off for a period that is longer than a “temporary layoff”.
In most cases, when an employer ends the employment of an employee who has been continuously employed for three months, the employer must provide the employee with either written notice of termination, termination pay or a combination (as long as the notice and the termination pay together equal the length of notice the employee is entitled to receive).
The ESA does not require an employer to give an employee a reason why his or her employment is being terminated. There are, however, some situations where an employer cannot terminate an employee’s employment even if the employer is prepared to give proper written notice or termination pay. For example, an employer cannot end someone’s employment, or penalize them in any way, if any part of the reason for the termination of employment is based on the employee asking questions about the ESA or exercising a right under the ESA, such as refusing to work in excess of the daily or weekly hours of work maximums, or taking a leave of absence specified in the ESA. Please see the chapter on Reprisals.”
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