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Terminating employees

Expert: Belinda Sutton

Debbie Smith asked:

If an employee lies about their whereabouts (employee was supposed to be at regular weekly doctor's appointment but stayed home) is that a reason for dismissing an employee for cause?

Belinda Sutton answered:

In most cases, under the Employment Standards Act, an employer can terminate an employee's job at any time -- as long as the employee is given proper written notice, or termination pay instead of notice. Generally the amount of statutory notice (or equivalent pay in lieu of notice) an employee is entitled to dpeneds on the employee's length of employment with the employer. For example, an employee who has been employed for:

  • more than three months, but less than one year, is entitled to one weeks' notice or pay in lieu of notice;
  • more than a year, but less than three years, is entitled to two weeks' notice or pay in lieu of notice;
  • three or more years is entitled to one weeks' notice per year of employment, to a maximum of eight weeks or pay in lieu of notice.

The Ministry of Labour's employment standards web page is

A fact sheet on termination of employment is available at: .

The link to the employment standards fact sheets is:

About the author

Belinda Sutton is a Communications Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

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