Question and answer
Ask your question and an Ontario employment lawyer will answer in minutes


Note, your name, city and email is not displayed on the website. It is used to notify you that we have answered your question.

Hi there, I was off on leave due to slipping in my employers parking lot from ice and snow after my shift. I had a doctors note stating the length of time being off, which i handed into my employer the day of receiving it. After finding out that i would not know if i could get sick and accident from EI for at least 28 days I told my work that i needed to see if i could come back early due to it being so close to Christmas and the fact i have bills to pay and no money coming in. The health and safety officer said that was fine but not to push myself. I went to my doctors yesterday to get a return to work note, with verbal instructions to tell my work (which i did and they said they could accommodate) that i was to have light duty for now, which i submitted right after my appointment with the doctor. Today i returned, and two hours into my shift I was told to go and see the health and safety worker, as they were the one i was dealing with during my time off. When i went down to their office they were not there but instead was the manager of my department along with human resources. I was told that my position was being terminated due to lack of work and restructuring. My manager left visibly upset and so was the human resource person, who i thanked for giving me the opportunity to work there. I asked her that if in future that if things picked up could I come back, they said absolutely but told me this was not a lay-off, that it was a termination and if a job opening came available that i could reapply. I also want to note that the company has let 15 to 25 people go that i'm aware of in the last 3 weeks. One of those were in our department and another quit the day after, leaving room for the rest of us in the department to work there, we were told that we would be trained in that area as we all signed an update work agreement stating that we knew all jobs in our department. That has not happened to this date and instead they brought in two other employees from different area within the factory to do the job. People that had nothing to do with our department whatsoever. At which time i had off handily said in the change room that we need a union to protect us. After that i was told along with my coworkers that there would be no more layoffs and that we were all safe. The one issue that baffles me is why this happened to me. There is other employees in my department with less time that i have had at this place of employment that have been consistently late on a daily basis, (which i have never been) have missed work without calling (which i always have done) nor had a doctors note, who aren't team players or fall asleep on the job. I have missed about 10 days in the last 5 months of being employed there, three of those time were with a doctors note, which they claimed is an excusable absence. The company allows 6 wellness days, paid that the company generously supplies for whatever reason, plus 4 sick days. I was told in my letter that I would be given a recommendation stating all i have done for this company and my work ethic. It all just baffles me as to why this happened. The only things i can think of was the slip in their parking lot, the mention of a union, because of my age vs other employees or attendance. Which makes no sense as i was well within their acceptable range, and I mentioned, 3 of those times were with a doctors note. I don't know if i have a case worth even a follow up. It just is really a crappy time of the year to let someone go knowing that Christmas is 3 weeks away and there in no possible way of getting EI before then. Thank you for your time

My name is Andrew Goldberg, and I am an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

There is a lot to unpack here - so I would highly suggest you email me at so we can discuss your matter further.

At a high level - If your employer terminates your employment because of your age, disability and/or need for accommodation, this is a breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code. In such an instance, you would have a valid claim for human rights damages on top of your severance entitlements. Your employer will also face additional exposure if it terminated your employment as a result of your efforts to unionize.

I suggest you visit to determine your severance entitlements, and email me at to arrange for a consultation.

Thank you
The Lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP
Direct Tel (Toll Free): 1-855-821-5900     Email:     Web:
Leave a comment