I was recently welcomed by the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, Employment Services division, to give an employment law primer to staff. Besides having a good laugh together, I was asked a number of great questions. Here are the answers.
The law in Ontario is pretty harsh on employees who have been fired. For the most part, employers are at liberty to fire an employee for almost any reason, or even for no reason at all. However, an employer’s power to dismiss without cause isn’t unlimited.
The Stronger Workplaces Act changed Ontario employment standards, making complaints more feasible for recovering back-wages and seeking compensation for standards violations. The changes also expanded protections to previously-excluded foreign workers, and bolstered standards for precarious workers in temporary help agencies.
Constructive dismissal describes a situation when your employer has changed your terms of employment — including salary, position, location, tasks or responsibilities — to the extent that the law considers you to have been effectively fired from your old job and hired into a changed one. You may be entitled to a notice period or compensation.