After terminating a troublesome employee, an employer may be tempted to engage in gossip (internally or externally, verbally or online). Discussing the termination of an employee could imply that the employee was dishonest, incompetent or had other negative qualities. If this comes to the former employee’s attention, the organization may face defamation claims as well as a wrongful dismissal suit. It is important that employers control the flow of information regarding the departed employee - the less said the better.
The termination letter was sent in error and the employer tookimmediate steps to revoke the dismissal before it could be giveneffect. The plaintiff, through her actions in requesting andaccepting the health benefits, and in accumulating pensionable timecontinued to act as an employee of the defendant. The contract ofemployment was not repudiated when the employee issued herstatement of claim, nor was it frustrated by the plaintiff'sillness. Why was employment not repudiated?
It is important for charities and not-for-profits to be aware of Ontario employment standards laws and to have a carefully drafted employment contracts, which include termination clauses. It is imperative to have certainty around an employee’s entitlements on termination, as it reduces the risk of legal disputes. If there is any question relating to the termination, charities and not-for-profits should seek legal advice beforehand. Employers should ensure that their termination letters and full and final releases are carefully drafted, and that, if an employee accepts a termination package, the settlement is final. Remember, legal disputes can most often be avoided by offering a fair termination package in exchange for the employee signing a full and final release of claims, which in the end helps protect staff members, donor moral and the reputation of the organization.
Employers need to ensure that any promised payments or termination related documents (i.e. Records of Employment) are issued on time. Ensure the payroll department double checks its calculations for accuracy.
Employers need to cover off how the termination will be announced internally, externally and (if applicable) in the media, if there is the chance that the termination will attract media interest. Do not announce the departure internally or externally until after the employee has been informed.
It is important that employers have all the termination paperwork ready for the meeting with the employee. The paperwork should include a termination letter (which will set out the package to be offered) and a full and final release.
To avoid the "perfect storm" that existed in thiscase, employees and employers, must clearly communicate duringperiods of disability. This case underscores that a disabilitymanagement plan must also provide for an internal communicationsystem or strategy that pays attention to disability appeal periodtimelines (including any possible grace periods) before terminationoccurs. And, if an employer learns of an appeal within areasonable period after sending a final termination letter, itwould be wise to take corrective action to rescind thetermination.
Salary continuation is when an employee does not come to work, but continues to receive his/her regular salary and benefits for the duration of the reasonable notice period. The benefit to the employer is that the cost of termination is spread over several weeks or months, compared to an upfront lump sum payment. Salary continuation terminations are quite common, especially with longer term employees with long notice periods.
Whatever your reasons are for terminating an employee, a wise employer will always follow the proper termination procedures. Despite the prevalence of , in reality, your right to fire is becoming more and more restricted because of the tremendous growth in federal and state laws that favor employees. What's more, these days workers who feel they have been unjustly discharged or forced to quit seem to be filing a multitude of employment-related suits.
As I have concluded that [the employee] was not dismissed on 2October 2009, the question of whether there would be justificationfor dismissal on account of her illness does not arise. Frustrationof contract is only available to the defendant as a defence incircumstances where there has been a termination of the employmentrelationship. That did not occur...
Whether your reasons for firing an employee are based on work performance, due to an economic layoff, or for another reason, following the proper termination procedures goes a long way in avoiding legal issues. Avoid firing someone on the spot, and use severance and release agreements to limit your liability.
It is not always necessary (or desirable) to terminate an employee immediately and provide pay-in-lieu of notice. A preferable option may be to have an employer provide an employee working notice (i.e. that their employment will end at some future date). The benefit to the employer is that they have an employee actively working for the duration of the notice period; however, employers need to consider on a case by case basis, whether working notice will be appropriate. An employee who is on working notice may not put forth the expected effort as he/she may be more concerned with finding a new job than carrying out his/her duties. Also, employers may want the process to end quickly as they may not want an employee negatively affecting the moral of the workplace.
Employers need to ensure that the information they provide to their employees (e.g. group benefit extension or conversion, pension options, accrued but unused vacation) is accurate. Not doing so could result in a court setting aside the agreement on the basis of misrepresentation (i.e. if the employee signed off on a termination package based on incorrect information).