Employment Terminations 101

Contrary to popular opinion, any employee can be terminated at any time. There is no restriction in Canadian law that prevents an employer from terminating an employee, unless the termination is linked to a ‘prohibited ground’ of discrimination under provincial and federal human rights legislation. Such prohibited grounds might include a person’s sex, age, gender, ethnic origin, or disability. Most dismissals, however, do not fall under such prohibitions and, as such, are generally uncontestable by the employee.

Employers do not need to have a ‘reason’ for termination, unless the employer is alleging ‘cause’. The legal concept of ‘cause’ to terminate is explored later in this Guide.

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