Thursday, June 23, 2011

Federally Regulated Employees - Part 3: Have You Been Dismissed?

In this final installment of the trilogy outlining your workplace rights and obligations as a federally regulated employee, we look at the Canada Labour Code provisions dealing with dismissal and termination. As a federally regulated employee, you can be terminated for just cause, without notice.

If, however, you are terminated without cause, your employer must provide you with two weeks written notice or two weeks’ pay in lieu of notice. Furthermore, if you have completed 1 year of continuous service and you were fired, you are also entitled to “Severance Pay” in the (greater of) two days of pay per year of service or five days’ pay. If you quit, you are not entitled to Severance Pay.

If you did not receive notice or your proper financial entitlement, and you meet the following four criteria, you have 90 days from the date of your dismissal to file a complaint to Labour Canada under Section 240 of the CLC for “unjust dismissal”.

· You were not a manager
· Your termination wasn’t due to a genuine redundancy or a discontinuance of your position.
· You worked continuously for more than 1 year.
· You were not a member of a union.

Potential remedies are broader than those available to provincial employees (who fall under the Employment Standards Act- see “Know Your Rights: Provincially Regulated Employees”) and include: lost wages and benefits since termination plus interest, reinstatement, legal costs, a letter of reference and/or “any other like thing that it is equitable to require the employer to do in order to remedy or counteract any consequence of the dismissal”.

Concluding Note
For more information on your rights and obligations as an employee in a federally regulated industry, please contact the nearest Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Labour Office at 1-800-641-4049.

You can also visit the HRSDC website:

Next instalment: Provincially Regulated Employees - Part 4: What Legislation Applies to You?