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We are a licensed electrical contractiong company and would like to know what our obligation is when firing and employee.

The question is very broad and the answer depends on the reasons for the dismissal and the circumstances around it.

The first thing we we would look at is whether the employee signed an employment contract with a termination clause that successfully limits his/her termination entitlements. The general rule is that an individual's termination entitlements are significantly higher in the absence of an enforceable termination clause.

Second, we would need to know if the dismissal is on a without-cause basis or, alternatively, if it is the result of serious wrongdoing on the employee's part. Theft, forgery, and violence are examples of wrongdoing that, if supported with evidence, disqualify someone from their termination entitlements. Most wrongdoing does not fall in this category and cause for termination without pay is difficult, if not impossible, to establish. Generally speaking, poor performance does not disentitle someone from termination pay.

An employer is free to let someone go based on business needs or due to poor fit but the decision to dismiss an individual should not be tainted by discriminatory considerations based on that individual's characteristics such as gender, disability, age, family status, etc.

One's termination entitlements are determined on the basis of their terms of employment, length of service, age, position, and future job prospects. There is no hard and fast formula for what constitutes adequate notice and/or pay in lieu of notice and we recommend that you contact us at the number below to discuss your needs and the case of the specific employee(s) that you are looking to dismiss.
Lior Samfiru
Direct Tel (Toll Free): 1-855-821-5900     Email: lior@stlawyers.ca     Web: www.stlawyers.ca
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