Employment Lawyers in Toronto
Employment Law Services: For Employees in Ontario
Our Employment Lawyers are experienced in assisting employees on all workplace related issues. If you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job, have concerns regarding your compensation, or have been discriminated and/or harassed at work, contact us immediately so we can help defend your rights. Most clients are pleased to know that when they feel something isn’t right, they are often correct. We can help if you are unsure as to your employment rights and it is important to reach out to our team before making any decisions or taking any action.
Unjust dismissal is a special remedy from the Canada Labour Code that may be available if you (a) work in a federally regulated workplace and (b) are a non-unionized employee who has been improperly terminated. Examples of federally regulated workplaces include airlines, banks, railways, and transportation companies. An employee under the Canada Labour Code has special protection from dismissal. Your employer either has to have a valid reason to terminate you or there must be a discontinuance of the job function.
If you believe your employer has terminated your employment without good reason, you should contact the Employment Lawyers at PLG immediately. As employment law experts, we can advise as to whether you should proceed with adjudication under the Canada Labour Code or begin a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. In any event, we try to resolve matters without court intervention wherever possible.
Just Cause Dismissal
“Just Cause” or “For Cause” refers to a situation in which the employee acts in a manner that breaches the employment agreement. Whether the conduct of the employee amounts to just cause will depend on the particular context. If your employer has fired you for cause, it is prudent to seek legal advice to determine whether or not the alleged conduct meets the required threshold. An employer is not required to give common law reasonable notice of termination if there is just cause for dismissal of the employee; however, it is very difficult for an employer to establish grounds for a just cause dismissal, even where they believe such grounds exist.
If your employer is alleging cause to terminate your employment, you should contact Perks Law Group to discuss your options.
If your employer has significantly changed the terms or conditions of your job, you may have experienced a constructive dismissal. Common examples of changes include reduction to your compensation, job title, duties, office location, or the hours that you work. By changing key terms of your employment, the employer has effectively breached the Employment Agreement, in which case you may be eligible for damages. If this has happened to you, we can help negotiate a severance package that reflects your circumstances.
Workplace Harassment/Sexual Harassment
Harassment is generally understood to be a “course of comments or conduct which is known or ought to known to be unwelcome”. Workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, is still extremely common in the workplace, and can include offensive comments; statements or jokes; spreading malicious rumors or gossip; excluding someone socially or isolating them; inappropriate touching or sexual inferences; and bullying. If you have experienced any form of harassment or sexual harassment, you should speak with us about your options.
Workplace harassment is never acceptable, and employees who are subject to such behaviour may have several legal options available to them. Contact us for a confidential consultation today.
Employers will often include a termination clause that can significantly reduce the amount of notice an employee is entitled to upon termination, or which can otherwise impact their termination package. Many employees accept these termination clauses at face value and will believe this amount of severance pay is the full amount they are entitled to at law. Unfortunately, this amount is typically far less that what the employee is entitled to based on their age, job duties, and years of service. Employees should contact our Employment Lawyers for a consultation, as you may be entitled to far more in severance pay.
Whether you are signing a new employment agreement and want advice on the enforceability of the termination clause, or if you have been terminated and require help fighting the termination clause after the fact, we can help negotiate a better severance package for you.
In Ontario, most employees are terminated “without cause”. This means for some reason, which may or may not be known to you, your employer has decided to terminate your employment. When this happens, your employer is obligated to provide you with the appropriate amount of “notice” or “pay in lieu of notice”. The amount in which you are owed will depend on a range of factors, including your age, years of service, character of your employment, and availability of similar employment opportunities.
Employees in Ontario are entitled to the minimum amount of notice provided by the Employment Standards Act. Typically, employers will only provide you with these minimum amounts, and not the full entitlements which you may be owed at common law, which are considerably higher. Accordingly, you may be entitled to more than you are told by your employer, and our expert Employment Lawyers are here to help. Contact us for a consultation if you have been dismissed from your job, as we can help defend your and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Human Rights Discrimination in the Workplace
Employers have a responsibility to ensure their workplace is free from discrimination and harassment. Discrimination takes place where someone is being treated differently than others due to a protected personal characteristic. Both the Ontario Human Rights Code (for provincially regulated employers) and the Canadian Human Rights Act (for federally regulated employers, such as banks, radio, and telecommunications) provide protection against discrimination on the basis of age; race; colour; ethnic origin; sex; sexual orientation; marital status; family status; disability; and other protected grounds.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against, you may be entitled to compensation for economic losses suffered as well as mental suffering or injury to your dignity, amongst other damages. Contact our Employment Lawyers and ensure your rights are protected.
Also known as “restrictive covenants”, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements seek to restrict behaviour and actions of departing employees. Restrictive covenants are usually included in an employment agreement, or in a separate agreement the employees signs before working for the employer, or when terms are being renegotiated. Employees should be cautious when signing such agreements, as they can have a negative impact on their ability to work for a competing institution.
It is common for an employer to have you sign a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement, but that does not mean you should agree to it. Signing the agreement may prevent you from finding work after you’ve moved on from the employer, or after you’ve been terminated. This can be troublesome for many who work in specialized fields with limited job prospects and/or employers which are involved in their particular trade. Non-solicitation agreements can prevent departing employees from poaching former customers, clients, suppliers, or co-workers, which can limit the employee’s ability to build a competitor business in the same area. Contact Perks Law Group for advice if you are being asked to sign a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement.
Employment matters can be extremely complex and a critical part of an individual’s identity. At PLG, we recognize the importance of your employment and will work tirelessly to advocate for your rights. Professional legal advice should be obtained at an early stage in order to help you win your case. If you require legal advice in an employment matter, please contact the experts at Perks Law Group.
Our Toronto Employment Lawyers
PLG is experienced in assisting our employee clients on myriad employment law issues. Most clients of PLG have received notice that their employment has been terminated and they are unsure as to how to proceed. While each case is unique, the vast majority of cases demonstrate that employers will provide employees far less severance than what they are actually owed. Employees, unless intimately familiar with the latest developments in the common law, are usually unaware of this and will leave money on the table.
- Constructive Dismissal
- Employee and Employer Obligations
- Duty to Accommodate and Undue Hardship
- Fiduciary Obligations
- Human Rights (Ontario Human Rights Code, RSO 1990, c. H. 19)
- Non-Solicitation, Non-Competition, and Confidentiality Agreements
- Notice Period and Pay in Lieu of Notice
- Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination
- Unjust Dismissal
- Termination Pay and Severance
- Termination for Cause
- Workplace Harassment
- Workplace Privacy
- Wrongful Dismissal
The terms and conditions of Employment Agreements, including termination entitlements and restrictive covenants can have a significant impact on the employment relationship post-employment. Having experienced counsel review Employment Agreements ahead of time will ensure the terms and conditions are fully understood by the client, reducing the likelihood of surprises in the future and minimizing the potential for litigation.
In the event of termination without cause, employees will usually be offered some level of severance and often an additional week or two of the employee’s salary in exchange for a release. This amount is, more often than not, considerably less than what the employee is entitled to; and to the employee’s detriment, this tactic often works. PLG advises and represents employees relative to wrongful dismissals and the negotiation of severance packages, ensuring their rights are protected and employers are held accountable.
PLG takes a reasonable approach when negotiating with employers and opposing counsel. We recognize that every successful negotiation requires a sound strategy, fulsome preparation, and a steadfast resolve. This is our formula for success, and why our clients place their trust in PLG.