Employment Lawyers in Hamilton, Ontario Serving Province Wide

Have you been terminated? Is your severance package fair and acceptable? Don’t sign anything before speaking to our Hamilton Wrongful Dismissal Lawyers

Our Hamilton Employment lawyers are trial lawyers with extensive experience in representing employees that have been unfairly terminated or wrongfully dismissed. If you have been recently terminated or fired, it is important to remember that you have rights. You have the absolute right to legal advice before signing any termination documents or release. Do not lose your employment rights to severance or termination pay before speaking to a Hamilton employment termination lawyer.

If you’ve been fired, have your severance papers reviewed now

If you’ve been fired, it’s important that you do not sign anything under duress or while emotional. It’s important that you “cool off” and have your severance papers reviewed by a qualified employment lawyer who can ensure that:

  • your contract is not invalidated by a termination clause which contravenes the Employment Standards Act of Ontario;
  • you are paid proper termination pay;
  • you are paid proper severance pay;
  • you are paid proper severance in lieu of notice, among other things.

By working with a Hamilton employment lawyer, we can protect your employment rights and assist with the challenges of today’s workplace by providing practical advice on all aspects of the employment relationship.

What is “reasonable notice” and what does it have to do with my termination?

If you were in a non-unionized employment relationship, your employer has an implied common law obligation to give you reasonable notice of its intention to terminate the employment relationship, unless there is just cause for termination. If your employer fails to give you reasonable notice of termination, you can bring a wrongful dismissal action for breach of that implied term.

The purpose of providing reasonable notice is to allow you to have a period of time in which to secure alternative equitable employment.  Reasonable notice is determined on a case by case basis.

Severance Pay – What am I entitled to if I have been fired?

In Ontario, employers have the right to terminate any of their employees without reason—providing they provide appropriate notice. What does this mean for you?

This means that if you have been unfairly terminated, your employer will need to either provide you with advanced reasonable notice of your termination or a cash payment to you in place of notice.

This is not to be confused with an employee’s minimum statutory entitlement to termination pay or severance pay pursuant to the Ontario Employment Standards Act. This act provides that employees are not to be fired unless they are provided with advance notice or termination pay in place of notice, which depends on how long they have been employed. The amount of minimum notice required can be found in this chart.

Remember, the rules under the Ontario Employment Standards Act about termination and severance pay are an employer’s minimum requirements. You may have greater rights that exceed minimum payments. Some terminated employees choose to file a lawsuit against their employer for such things as wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal.

How much notice an employee is entitled to depends on a variety of factors that you should speak to a employment lawyer about immediately.

There are three main areas of termination entitlement that your employer may be required to provide you at the time of your termination, if you have been fired without cause without cause:

  • Statutory termination notice in accordance with the Employment Standards Act
  • Statutory severance pay (only for certain Ontario or federally regulated employees), which must be given as pay and cannot be given as notice.
  • Common law reasonable notice or pay in lieu of such notice. The calculation of common law notice is a fact specific exercise. There is no formula derived from precedent leading to an exact result since the facts from each case will invariably change. Some—but not all—of the variables affecting the length of notice are as follows:
    • Length of Service – How long have you been employed with your present employer? The employee’s length of service is an important factor in the determination of reasonable notice.
    • Age – How old are you? Courts are very cognizant that an older employee will often have a difficult time in obtaining alternative employment, and therefore considerable weight will be given to the age of the plaintiff
    • Availability of Similar Work – Employees that have specialized jobs or who are highly skilled have been held to deserve notice at the higher end. A similar job opportunity like yours may be virtually non-existent or very difficult to find.
    • Character of Employment – Courts have given considerable weight to the importance of the plaintiff’s position within the employer’s organization in calculating reasonable notice.
    • Health of the Employee – Courts have held the health of the employee to be a relevant factor in determining the period of reasonable notice. Medical difficulties can affect the availability of alternate employment.

An employee that is wrongfully dismissed has had his or her employer fail to provide adequate notice of termination. How much notice an employee is entitled to depends on a variety of factors that you should speak to a employment lawyer about immediately.

Our Hamilton Employment Lawyers help protect employee rights throughout Southern Ontario

Our employment lawyers can ensure that your employee rights are protected and upheld:

Severance Package Reviews – If you have been recently terminated, you should have your termination letter reviewed to ensure that you are not signing away your rights to any severance that you may be entitled to. Other situations that call for review include an employer removing your seniority, sale of the business, the business owner retiring, forced vacation, and unilateral changes to your employment contract that you do not agree with.

Contract Reviews – Have you been recently hired? You should have your contract reviewed before starting your new dream job to save expense later if things go sour. You should have things like non-compete or non-solicitation clauses, termination clauses or severance amounts, and discretionary bonus clauses all reviewed by a lawyer experienced with employment issues.

Fired for Cause – It is normally implied within the employment relationship that the employer may terminate employment for very good reason. If you have been fired for cause, talk to a Hamilton employment lawyer to make sure the termination is legal. You may not be getting what you are entitled to. The onus to fire for cause is a very high one for employers.

Constructive Dismissal – When an employer’s conduct displays the intention to no longer be bound by the contract of employment, the employee has a choice: He or she can either accept conduct or changes made by the employer, or treat the conduct or changes as a repudiation of the contract, hence suing for constructive dismissal.

Severance Pay – are you entitled to severance pay? Although many people interchange the two, severance pay is distinct from termination pay. Severance pay is an amount of money paid to an employee by an employer under certain conditions specified by the employment standards act.

Termination Pay – are you entitled to termination pay? Termination pay is the minimums set out by the Employment Standards Act.

Payment in Lieu of Notice – are you entitled to payment in lieu of notice? Payment in lieu of notice is different from termination pay. Payment in Lieu of Notice, otherwise called common law notice. The Employment Standards Act provides the minimum amount of notice. In some cases, there is also the common law notice period requirement, resulting in enhanced termination pay depending on certain conditions.

Hamilton Employment Law Faqs

Whether you are an employee or a small or large company, we understand that, at times, employment situations come up quickly and unexpectedly, which is often followed by what seems like a limitless list of questions and concerns. Our employment lawyers are here to provide you with the answers you need, and to that end, we’ve answered a few common questions in the space below:

Do I have to sign my termination papers or release in the strict timeline they demand?

No, you have the full legal right in Ontario to seek the assistance of an employment lawyer before signing any type of contract, whether you’re starting or ending a job. Furthermore, if you decide to sue your employer for wrongful dismissal, you have two years from the date of your termination to do so.

How much does it cost to get my termination papers reviewed?

There is a fee involved with the intial consultation. If we decide to work together, we will work out a payment arrangement that suits your needs.

What should I bring in for my meeting?

You should bring in a copy of your identification; a copy of your termination letter or severance package; your original employment agreement or contract, if you still have it; any information regarding your position and duties; your up-to-date CV (if you have one); and information regarding your salary, benefits, allowances, and bonuses. If you have been fired for cause, please bring in all of your warning letters or documentation you have pertaining to the cause.

Are you a personal injury firm? Why do you do employment law?

Matt Lalande has been representing victims with life changing injuries since 2003.  Many injured victims inevitably end up with employment situations as a result of their inability to get back to work – many get fired or end up having issues with their long-term disability carrier.  As a result Matt has represented both injured clients and clients in the community, as well as employers, since 2003.

Connect with a Hamilton Employment Lawyer

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers has the trial experience and extensive knowledge in the areas of employment law and long-term disability law you need on your side. It all starts with a consultation with our Hamilton employment lawyers. Simply complete the contact form on this page or give us a call at 905-333-8888 to schedule yours today.

tell us about your case

Request Your Free Consultation

We’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers today by filling out the form below, or call us at 1-844-LALANDE

    Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers

    Speaking with our legal team will not cost you anything. You pay nothing unless we win your case.


    Call us 24/7. We will travel to your rehabilitation center, home, or hospital, at your convenience.


    We are available to discuss your case anytime. Give us a call at 905-333-8888.


    Meeting and/or discussing your case with our legal team is completely free.