It’s time that the employers should be cautious about terminating their employees

Everyone is aware that an employer can terminate their employment at any point in time provided there is a valid reason, which isn’t contradictory to the codes of Human rights. The employer should also give prior notice and benefits to the employee so that they can survive during the unemployment period. With the entire if and buts, a recent decision from the Supreme Court has questioned the common law rule of giving job protection to the federally regulated non-unizoned employees.


The scenario before the Supreme Court’s Rule


The new rule of the Supreme Court was released in July 2016 and changed a few things. Before it, every termination was considered fair as long as the dismissed employee was imparted with an adequate amount of termination package, which has his legal entitlements. The reason for termination did not hold any importance during that time. The employers enjoyed the freedom of termination and the employees had no option but to accept it that way.


The scenario after July 2016


After the decision of the Supreme Court, which was taken for the benefit of the employees, employee termination was effectively prohibited especially for the employees who are regulated federally. Now the employees cannot be dismissed without a valid business cause or economic reason. The federally regulated employees qualify for the reasoning for termination.


If it has to be explained elaborately, the decision meant that if any federally regulated employee feels that their termination is unfair or is dismissed without a valid reason, he has the liberty to make written complaint to the Canada Labor Code’s Labor Program Office. They can get it to touch with the best Employment Lawyer in Toronto to fight back their dismissal. Once the complaint is duly filed, the Labor Program Office would investigate further and scrutinize the complaint of the terminated employee. If the Labor Program Office finds that, the termination was unjust and wasn’t done for a justified cause or a bona fide reason, then, the dismissed employees can join back work with their allotted wage. Those employees would also be compensated for both the lost wages during the time of unemployment and all the other losses that the employee has to bear due to termination.


Wilson v. Atomic Energy Case


There were an employee names Wilson, who worked as an administrator in the company Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (“AECL”) and after four and half years of tenure, he was terminated of his employment in November 2009. Wilson boasted that he had virtuous disciplinary records when he was at work and that the reason for his termination was not fair. Therefore, he filed a complaint about “unjust dismissal” under the Canada Labor Code (“CLC”). He claimed that his dismissal was a retaliation of his act of raising voice against some procurement practices of the company. The decision that was taken for the case of Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. has made termination of federally regulated employees difficult and complicated. The employers who fall under the jurisdiction of the Canada Labor Code are instructed to take advice and help from an employment lawyer much before they execute any plans of termination. Companies who wouldn’t abide by the rule would have to face consequences in later times.


Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Terminations


Here are few of the aspects, which an employer must focus on to avoid illegality and misunderstandings during an employee termination:


What the employer should do?


  • Perform thorough documentation regarding employee issues and the warnings that lead to termination.
  • During the meeting of termination, keep all the documentation handy starting from performance appraisal to written warnings everything would be necessary.
  • The termination document should be foolproof. Everything should be mentioned like the last day of work, about the benefits and the final payout.
  • The termination meeting should be done one-on-one basis at a secluded meeting room inside the office premises.
  • The employer should be crisp, clear and honest about the reasons for termination.
  • During the termination meeting, a witness should be present and the employer should take written acknowledgment from the witness as well the terminated employee.
  • The employer should handover the list of items that the terminated employee should handover to the employer before leaving the office premises.
  • Get the computer access logins, entry codes and security passwords changed after the employee has been asked to leave.


What the employer shouldn’t do?


  • The employment termination meeting should be as short as possible and the employer should not drag it long and should avoid the blame game.
  • The employer should avoid any argument if it arises regarding the decision of termination. The employer should try to be professional and polite in his conversations during the termination meeting.
  • The employer should not reveal about the termination with the other employees in the organization. The words should be just within the employer and the employee.


With all things mentioned above, it has been proved that termination is no more an easy game for the employers. They should be double sure of why and what they are doing.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.