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If You Are Fired - Common questions

Common questions

I’ve been fired. Does my employer need to give me a reason?

No — unless your employer is firing you for just cause. In that case, they have to tell you what the reason is.

If your employer is not firing you for cause, they don't have to give you a reason for letting you go. Some employers withhold their reason as that way they’re less likely to say something that shows they fired you illegally. (Some reasons an employer might give for firing you aren’t legal. For example, if you’ve been let go because you have a disability.) See the “What you should know” section above to learn more about prohibited grounds for dismissal.

Can my employer fire me for “just cause” because we didn’t get along?

Likely not. To fire you for just cause, your employer must show you did something seriously incompatible with the employment relationship continuing — to the point the employer can’t be expected to give you another chance. A personality clash between you and your boss would rarely be enough. (If your behaviour was abusive, that’s different.)

Should I accept severance pay from my employer even if I think my dismissal was unfair?

If you think your dismissal was unfair, consider getting legal advice before accepting severance pay from your employer. Once you accept the offer, a court may say you’ve given up your right to sue. Take some time to think it over and get proper advice.

My employer sold the business. What are my rights if the new owner fires me?

If your employer sells the business, they can give you written notice of termination. Then, if you work for the new employer that bought the business, you start as a new employee.

But when they sell the business, if your employer does not give you written notice, and you work for the buyer, you have the same length of service as if the business had not been sold. If the buyer then wants to end your employment, they must give you written notice based on your total length of service with both employers, the seller and the buyer.

My employer offered my old job back. Do I have to take it?

After letting you go, an employer might offer you your old job back, or a similar job at the same pay. If you refuse that offer, you have to have a very good reason. If not, you may not get severance pay after the date you refuse.