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Issues arising in the workplace can range from a health and safety violations, workplace harassment, or complications related to an employee’s dismissal. These issues can be complicated and highly personal based on the nature of the employment. As employers are often more familiar with employment standards and regulations than their employees, it is vital that when issues arise related to employment that an employee is aware of any rights they have, as well as any dispute resolution mechanism they can access.

The Ontario Employment Standards Act sets out minimum employment standards for people working in Ontario. While some types of employment not covered by the Employment Standards Act, some minimum requirements required by Ontario employers is to provide their employees

    • Minimum wage
    • Public holidays
    • Equal pay for equal work
    • Notice of termination


The nature of your employment is extremely important to understand your rights in the event of a dismissal. Some things to consider when assessing the nature of your employment-related issue are:

    • Are you a member of a union?
    • Are you an employee or an independent contractor?
    • Is the contract indefinite or are there fixed-terms for employment?
    • Are you part of management or a director?
    • How long have you been employed?


The contract of employment is the foundation of an employment relationship. Employment contracts are complex documents, which include written terms of employment, however, these contracts are also subject to general contract law, as well as provincial legislation and regulations. Due to the written and unwritten nature of employment contracts, when an employee is dismissed, when their job requirements are altered, or when other issues arise related to their employment, it is important for employees to know their rights.

When facing dismissal from your employment, the length of time which you have been employed impacts the amount of notice you must be given, as well as any financial compensation you may be entitled to. Ontario legislation provides for a probation period in the employment contract. This probation period covers the first three months of employment, however, the contract can provide a longer period. The probation period gives the employer a chance to assess whether or not the employee is able to meet the required standards of the position for which they are employed. While within the probation period job security is not guaranteed, as the employer need not provide notice or reasons for dismissing an employee during the probation period. During the probation period, employers can also assess the employee’s suitability for the job, character, ability to work with co-workers, among other things.

Once employed beyond the probation period, if an employee is dismissed, the employer must provide the employee with the reasons for their dismissal, and in most situations notice of the dismissal. The amount of notice is calculated based on the length of employment. Generally, the longer one is employed, the longer the required notice.

Employment issues also include actual or perceived unsafe work environments. Employers are obligated to take all reasonable precautions to ensure employee safety from workplace dangers. These precautions will depend on the nature of the workplace and provincial regulations. Where an employee is concerned for their safety based on an unsafe workplace they may be concerned about raising these issues with their employer, as such employees should seek assistance with respect to their employment rights.

Have you been fired, let go, discharged, or dismissed from your job? Are you concerned about your workplace safety and unsure if you can do something about it? Our expertise in employment litigation means we are well-positioned to explain the options available to you if you have been wrongfully terminated from your place of employment.

We can provide information about:

    • Your rights as an employee in Ontario
    • Your employer’s rights if the company is operating in Ontario
    • Any recourse you may have against a former employer for a wrongful or constructive dismissal charge


Our civil litigation lawyers can help answer the questions you may have surrounding what is fair and reasonable to expect in your situation. Call FDT Law today at 1-800-563-6348.

  • Health and Safety
  • Employment Standards
  • Dismissal
  • Probation Period

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