Wrongfully Fired

Wrongful Dismissal

Workers have legal rights when they are fired or let go. An employer is allowed to fire an employee at any time, but the law requires that certain rules be followed. If an employer does not properly follow these rules, a worker is "wrongfully dismissed."

If any of the following sound familiar, you may have a claim for wrongful dismissal:

  • you were let go without any advance warning or notice and did not get any termination pay (money paid to you instead of a warning or notice);
  • you were a long-term employee and only given a small amount of termination pay or very little advance warning (if you received less than one month's pay or notice for every year that you worked);
  • you were fired or let go because you did not accept big changes to your job (constructive dismissal);
  • you were fired or let go because you complained about a health or safety problem at work;
  • you were fired or let go because you complained about harassment or discrimination in the workplace; or
  • your ex-boss said you were fired for 'just cause', a legal term for misconduct (for example, theft, lateness, incompetence, swearing etc...), but you disagree. (Note, the law states certain kinds of misbehaviour are not bad enough to justify a firing for cause. If you feel you were unfairly fired, you may have been wrongfully dismissed.)

If you are a wrongfully dismissed worker, you can enforce your right to termination pay. You can sue your former employer in court or make a complaint to the Ministry of Labour, but you cannot do both. Usually you will get more termination pay in court than through the Ministry of Labour.

There are important time restrictions for beginning a wrongful dismissal court case and for filing an Employment Standards Act complaint. If you think you have been wrongfully dismissed, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Contact Us

If you think your rights have been violated, contact JUSTICE@work. Click here to fill out an online application for legal assistance. A lawyer from JUSTICE@work will review your complaint, provide you with free summary legal advice and assess whether you qualify for legal assistance. Our legal assistance is also free, but only available to qualifying low-income or disadvantaged workers.