FAQ - Employment Law

FAQ - Employment Law

1. What are my rights as an employee?
Generally, as an employee, you will be given rights and protections under various legislations such as the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. However, the protections afforded to you may differ depending on your employer and job duties. It is important to contact a lawyer if you are unsure of what rights and protections you are entitled to.

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2. I was just fired, what should I do?
You should contact a lawyer to see what your legal rights are. If your employer is pressuring you to sign something, it may be a good idea to seek legal advice about what you are being asked to sign. You may be entitled to more compensation than an employer is offering, and you should seek legal advice to determine whether your employer is complying with its obligations under the Employment Standards Act.

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3. I was injured while I was working, can I sue my employer?
It depends. In Ontario we have Workplace Safety Insurance benefits (also referred to as Worker’s Compensation) that may provide you compensation for the workplace accident that occurred. However, there are times where these benefits, or the nature of your employment relationship, may prevent you from starting a lawsuit against your employer. It is very important to discuss workplace accidents with a lawyer to understand the intricate application of the law regarding workplace injuries.

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4. I feel like my workplace is unsafe, what can I do?
Depending on who employs you and the nature of your employment relationship, the Occupational Health and Safety Act may provide you with protections against unsafe working environments. When it applies, this Act may give you such rights as the right to refuse work, or the right to require an inspection. It also may provide protections against workplace harassment. Contact a lawyer to get a full understanding of what protections you have against an unsafe work environment.

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5. My employer just changed my responsibilities, are they allowed to do this?
It depends. A fundamental change in your responsibilities may be considered “constructive dismissal”. However, it is important to note that not every change in an employee’s job duties is considered a constructive dismissal. It is very important to contact a lawyer to see whether any changes to your job function or responsibilities is a fundamental change that results in a constructive dismissal.

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6. What kind of compensation am I entitled to if I’m wrongfully dismissed?
If you have been wrongfully dismissed, employers may have an obligation to compensate you with notice pay and/or severance. Reasonable notice pay is geared to compensate an employee while she or he is searching for new employment. On the other hand, severance pay is an amount an employer pays an employee and acts like a “bonus” for previous years worked. To see whether you are entitled to either notice pay or severance, be sure to contact a lawyer who will advise you of your rights to compensation.

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