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Law Maven
Law Maven, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer & Instructor at Algonquin Careers Academy
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Was fired today - reason stated "I was no longer a fit job"

Customer Question

Was fired today - reason stated "I was no longer a fit for the job " is that a legitimate reason? Can they do this?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law Maven replied 4 months ago.

Hello – my name is***** am a Canadian lawyer, and I’ll be happy to help with your question today.

Expert:  Law Maven replied 4 months ago.

Without more information I cannot really answer your question. The rules about what is a legitimate reason to fire an employee depend on several factors.

Most important, were you a recent hire, still in your probationary period?

I assume you're not unionized, if you are, have you talked to your union?

How long had you worked there?

Are you able to do the job? If not, had your employer discussed the problem with you? Did they discuss alternative ways of doing your job, or giving you assistance with it if you needed it?

Let me know some more background information, and I'll be happy to let you know what employment laws apply to your situation.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am not a new hire employed w company would've been 4 years in November having held current position 2+ years. There was no discussion of my capilities or there the lack of. No Union. I was off work about 2 weeks ago for an illness returning w a valid doctors note and followed company procedures. I was the cook in a cafeteria w fellow associates complimenting me daily on my culinary skills however not overly liked by hr
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hope this clarifies so you can get a better understanding and can help w my answer- thank you
Expert:  Law Maven replied 4 months ago.

Without a union, the terms of your employment depend on your contract with your employer. In most situations, an employer can fire an employee for no reason at all, as long as they give proper notice or severance pay. Depending on what province you're in, the amount of time you should get for notice/severance will vary, but a reasonable average is one week per year that you worked for the employer.

A smart employer will not give any reason for firing an employee, because once they give you a reason, you may have grounds for a wrongful dismissal law suit, or a Human Rights case. In your situation, it doesn't so much matter whether you actually have a disability. If your employer is treating you as though you are unable to do the work, or as though they suspect you are disabled, then that counts as discrimination. There is also some variation from province to province, but most provinces Human Rights Codes specify that in cases of discrimination on the basis of disability, whether or not the employee is disabled does not matter. The only thing that matters is if the employer is acting as though they think the employee is unfit.

So you have two main options:

  • if your employer did not give you notice/severance pay, you can complain to the local Labour Board. The result is usually that you get the pay owed to you.
  • if you think there might be wrongful dismissal or discrimination, either because you were away on sick leave, or because your employer thinks that you can't do a good job anymore, then you would need to talk to an employment lawyer (or paralegal, in Ontario) who can help you through the process of filing a claim.

It is probably a good idea to talk to a lawyer/paralegal to help making that decision, as they can tell you more about what each option might cost, and which option is more likely to give you a better award if you're successful.

To find a lawyer who will give you an initial half hour consultation at no charge, you can contact your local law society. They usually have a referral service that will connect you to a lawyer who practices in the type of law you need. If you would prefer to give me information on where you work/live (city, province) I could check that information for you.

I hope I have fully answered your question, but please do not hesitate to ask for more information if needed. When you are satisfied with the answer, kindly provide me a positive rating so I can receive credit for my answer.

My answer here contains only general legal information and not legal advice. No solicitor/client relationship has been created by this communication.

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