Knowing your rights as an employee in Canada is very important and may help you at any stage of your career. You should take note of the following should you ever find yourself wondering if what you employer is doing is above board.

1. Your employer needs to justify your dismissal

An employer in Canada needs cause to terminate your employment. This is a fairly broad definition, and you should certainly not bank on there not being something in your employment history that can be used to show cause in this case. What you are certainly entitled to is termination pay, or severance pay. For employees that do not have a specific termination clause in their contract you are probably still entitled to severance pay. Just make sure that you document everything as the termination process plays out before you. Keep in mind that the reason for your termination can be almost anything provided that it is not discriminatory in any way.

2. You may not be able to enforce your termination clause

You may find that you are stuck with the standard common law definition of how much termination, or severance pay you are entitled to, this is not the end of the world, and you should certainly look to explore your options with an employment law specialist if your employer decides to go this route. This can be a little frustrating for many, but you should always make sure that you have looked at every aspect of your dismissal thoroughly and always document every conversation with your manager and the human resource department.

3. You may be entitled to damages if you are wrongly dismissed

Damages can be awarded to you based on a number of factors. You will need to work closely with an employment law specialist in order to understand exactly what it is that you are entitled to. The typical benchmark is payment for the amount of time that it took for you to find employment after being dismissed, or a reasonable estimate of how long this should take.

To be awarded damages following the termination of employment will require you to hire the services of an employment lawyer, they will be able to help out a great deal and provide you with the information you need to proceed with your claim.

4. Human rights damages are an option too

This is something that there is precedent for, and will usually be caused by discriminatory practices that have infringed on an employee’s human rights or caused them to feel singled out in some way, or even persecuted in the work environment. Basically, anything that has transpired that harmed your dignity, or feeling of self-respect should be noted, and mentioned to your employment lawyer.

5. Notice periods are subjective

You can typically expect anywhere from 2- 6 weeks for a notice period. This is not a rule that is set in stone, and often you can be walked out of the building the very same day. However, if you do feel that a procedure was not followed correctly, then you should absolutely get in touch with an employment law specialist and ask their opinion on whether you have a case or not.

6. Don’t be shy about asking questions

The more information that you have about your rights as an employee in Canada the better you will be able to properly protect yourself from being mistreated or taken advantage of by an employer. By getting in touch with an expert in employment law, you can find out if you are in a position to pursue legal action against a current or former employer.

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