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Question about Ontario labour law - re: employee resignation

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  • Jul 29th, 2016 9:33 pm
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Newbie
Apr 27, 2009
2 posts
Ontario

Question about Ontario labour law - re: employee resignation

Is there actually a legal binding for employees in Ontario that said he/she must provide advance notice of resignation a certain number of weeks in advance?

To make the story short, I have recently resigned from a company that I have been working for close to 7 years now. And now after almost a month, my previous employer is complaining that I was not very cooperative in helping him transition to me not being there and that I was only providing the company one week notice. He claim that the law says that I must gave 2 weeks advance notice, and he also claim that in the past I have signed an agreement which basically says I will provide 9 weeks advance notice. I have to admit I was naive and was practically forced to sign that agreement, which in my opinion makes the whole agreement not very valid.

According to this HRDC website (the link is here), if I understand correctly as an employee there isn't even a law that states that I have to even give advance notice under normal circumstances.

So yea if anyone can give me a proper understanding of the law it would be appreciated. Because to be honest the "requests" for assistance that my previous employer has been asking is bordering into absurd.
10 replies
Deal Expert
May 17, 2008
15134 posts
152 upvotes
I don't think that there any laws that can force you to work for any period of time.

It would be hard for anyone to judge the validity of that contract you signed saying you would give 9 weeks notice, but it would be similar in that you can't ever be forced to work for anyone. There could be civil penalties for breaking the contract though, so it is probably ideal to check that contract out with a Lawyer if possible.
Member
Feb 11, 2009
291 posts
8 upvotes
You're right -- the employee has no legal obligation to provide their employer two weeks notice, or any notice at all.

Two weeks is, however, the conventional practice allowing the employee to leave on good terms thereby providing the employer time to at least fill the poisition temporairly before finding a more permanent and suitable replacement. Employees usually do this in order to secure a good reference from their previous employer -- something that might be difficult to ensure in your case.

But that is your only concern, there are no legal ramifications resulting from not providing two weeks notice.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 27, 2009
2 posts
Ontario
Yea I will probably check with a lawyer about the validity of such "contract".

My gripes is actually that the company practically insisted that I helped them for free, while at the same time I don't think that they're doing anything at all in trying to find someone to take over my previous position.

Not to mention they're still withholding my last week of pay (though quite honestly I'm not really that concerned about that because the amount was quite ridiculous anyway).
Banned
User avatar
Jun 19, 2006
9349 posts
42 upvotes
If you signed an agreement with your employer to provide a longer period of notice, and you break that agreement, they could sue you for damages.

If you have no such agreement with an employer, and you do not provide the statutorily required amount of notice, the employer, again, could sue you for damages.

What might 'damages' be? Well, if you worked in a manufacturing assembly line, and you left abruptly without providing notice, the employer could sue you for the added expense of paying double time (ie: overtime) to another employee to get the work that you agreed to do, done, until, in the court's judgement, they could reasonably find another employee to do the work, or the notice period expired. The employer has a responsibility to mitigate their damages, ie: they have a responsibility to make a diligent effort to find a replacement employee ASAP.

An employer, however, is not entitled to simply deduct 'damages' from your final paycheque without obtaining a judgement. But an employee, being a counterparty to an employment contract, definitely has obligations to perform on that contract, if, indeed, they sign it, and the contract itself is valid.

Personally, I'd advise remaining professional, however, you must be careful not to provide further 'professional services'. I had an engineering employer that would contact me for months after I left, asking for me to perform or explain engineering calculations I had made -- I had to politely refuse.
"I worked with several H1B employees that were/are borderline ********. One of them wanted to spray an electrical patch panel with solvent to see if it would make the “network go faster”". <--- lol (source)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
3742 posts
297 upvotes
Toronto
Hello,

Not to hijack this thread, but I wanted to ask everyone here a similar question about the ESA:

I am a service provider contracted to provide services to businesses. I am about to acquire a service agreement with a building that already has another vendor serving them. Their contract is close to expiration and the owner of the building would like to hire my company to continue the services after their current contract expires with the other company. Here is my questions: The current service provider is unionized. My company is not.

1. What happens to the union during the contract takeover? I am currently under the assumption that the union will be nullified but please correct me if i am wrong (I tried to find info on this but the ESA does not state anything about unions)

Thats pretty much all I have right now. I plan to either inherit the current employees under the "continuity of employment and new service provider" section only if the union won't transfer OR won't be too much of a headache to inherit.

Any articles in regards to my question will also be greatly appreciated!


Thanks all!
Newbie
Nov 14, 2012
82 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
I am in a some what similar situation, I signed a contract (6 week contract) and was suppose to start the job on 21st July but later they moved the starting date to 1st Aug and between that period (21st July and 1st Aug) I got an amazing job offer which I am taking, now I am getting call and messages from 1st company that I will face legal issues and I can not resign ... I attended 2 conference calls 2hrs each between 19th July and 1st Aug which I have not billed and have no intension of billing.

Am I breaking Ontario employment law? So far no work have been assigned to me and I have not delivered and expected to deliver work item in any form.
Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
10049 posts
1750 upvotes
Ottawa
^^There's no law.
Only thing you're breaking, is the contract that you signed and they can file suit against you for damages as a result (will they...?)
New employees need to read what they sign as there can be many stipulations, such as NDAs, NCCs etc...
Newbie
Nov 14, 2012
82 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for feedback, Is the Contract enforceable? since I have resigned before Day 1.
vkizzle wrote:
Jul 29th, 2016 3:04 pm
^^There's no law.
Only thing you're breaking, is the contract that you signed and they can file suit against you for damages as a result (will they...?)
New employees need to read what they sign as there can be many stipulations, such as NDAs, NCCs etc...
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2006
118 posts
14 upvotes
Toronto
If I quit after being fully trained by a company over an 8 week period can the company sue me for the costs of the training? I am a permanent full-time employee? Basically I'm getting trained on their dime in class and on the job floor.
Deal Guru
Aug 22, 2011
10049 posts
1750 upvotes
Ottawa
spawnisalive wrote:
Jul 29th, 2016 4:25 pm
Thanks for feedback, Is the Contract enforceable? since I have resigned before Day 1.
Only if they decide to file suit, but it's rare and I've only ever heard of one instance in my organization and that was at the executive level.
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