A partial derailment of the TTC on Line 2, caused morning chaos for the commuters. The CP24 reporter overheard a dramatic phone conversation between a man and his boss, who allegedly said that if the man is not at work in ten minutes, he’s fired or he can quit; and he quit his job.
CP24 talks to Daniel Lublin, an employment lawyer at Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers
Can an employer fire you over a TTC delay?
Lateness or absenteeism for reasons beyond your control is not cause for dismissal. Any employer who asserted that it was, would lose that case and would have to pay severance, in addition to any public backlash for firing someone in such a harsh manner.
What if a person has a history of being late?
Beyond circumstances outside of your control, it’s a whole other story. Chronic lateness or absenteeism, repetitive lateness without medical or doctor’s notes. All of that’s a different scenario as in those circumstances we are talking about culpable absenteeism, very different from what we saw today.
So, if an individual were to lose their job over a situation like we saw this morning, what kind of actions can an employee take in such circumstances against their employer or former employer?
The starting point will be a severance package that comes through immediately. Any employer who didn’t pay severance, would be on the hook for it and if the employer wasn’t paying severance, then the employee can file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour for statutory termination or severance pay Ontario or they can go see a lawyer and they can make a claim for wrongful dismissal damages.
The morning’s incident felt like the employee was being forced to quit his job – thoughts?
The termination due to TTC delay was a termination in disguise. A resignation given in circumstances of an ultimatum or threat is not a valid resignation. It would be considered a deemed termination.
What would be your message to the individuals who have lost their jobs due to circumstances that are beyond their control be it natural reasons like snowstorms and blizzards or public transit delays? What do they need to do?
Context is key. Employer’s rules & decisions have to be reasonable especially as it relates to termination and severance. And if there are truly circumstances that are beyond an individual’s control, an employer would be well advised to not take steps to terminate or dismiss someone without severance in those circumstances.
If you’re looking for employment lawyers to get more information about how the public transit delays can effect you at work, please contact us online or by phone at (866) 658-6811 or (416) 640-2667 today!
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