I've Been Fired...Now What?
Letting it All Sink In
The day has arrived for many of us, that dreaded day when you find out you have lost your job. In the beginning, it doesn’t matter what the reason – losing one's job is losing one's sense of purpose.
You will be angry, sad and depressed. While it is important to let yourself grieve this loss, it is also important to take care in your next steps.
It is very difficult to see the situation clearly when such a traumatic event occurs. Maybe you are a young worker paying your way through school. Maybe you are a single Mom working two jobs to care for your children. Maybe you are approaching retirement and the thought of having to interview for a new career makes you queasy because technology has changed the world of work. Maybe you are a new Canadian and are unsure why you were terminated when all your performance reviews were perfect.
In each of these scenarios, the employer may have had a legitimate reason to terminate your employment; BUT it is also possible that:
a) the termination was done in bad faith;
b) the requirements under the Employment Standards Act for terminating an employee's employment have been ignored or,
c) the termination is the result of a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Act.
Next Steps: After You Have Been Fired What you do next can significantly impact whether or not a lawyer can assist you with an unjust or wrongful dismissal. Although there are many things that friends and family will suggest, these are the most critical steps to follow:
1. Obtain a copy of the termination letter.
2. Call an EMPLOYEE side lawyer like Stacey A. Mirowski and request a consultation to review the termination letter and the circumstances surrounding the dismissal.
3. Apply for Employment Insurance (EI), immediately. The application process for employment insurance can be easily completed through the website. If you are eligible for benefits, there is a mandatory holding period before you will begin receiving payments. Do not delay in starting this process.
4. Do NOT, no matter how angry you are, do NOT post negative or defamatory comments about your employer, former manager or anyone at your previous place of work. Such actions could compromise your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve for losing your job and or result in a claim against you for damaging the reputation of your former employer.
5.Finally, take care of YOU. Seek professional help if you feel you need it. There is no shame in seeing your doctor, a counselor or someone else you trust.
If you take these steps, you will be on the right path to moving beyond this job loss. A lawyer will be able to suggest many useful options when negotiating with your former employer. A lawyer may be able to negotiate for extended benefits, outplacement services, additional time in lieu of notice or the use of an Employee Assistance Program while you search for new employment.
Stacey A. Mirowski practices law in Ottawa, Eastern and Northern Ontario. Her practice is focused on providing access to justice for all those who need it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for your free consultation.