Employee Entitlements Upon Termination

by | Nov 11, 2022 | For Employees

Termination is a stressful experience for any employee. An employee who has been fired needs to understand what their employer owes them, and what their employer is offering them. When employers do not make this clear, additional damages could be due to the employee.

When an employee is terminated, they are entitled to receive certain minimum payments under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). They may also be entitled to far more under common law depending on the terms of their contract (read more about that here). 

Often employers will offer more than the ESA amounts to get an employee to sign a release and give up the employee’s right to sue. The court has affirmed that employers must be very clear with employees when they are terminated that they will receive their ESA entitlements regardless of whether they sign a release. The court further demonstrated that there will be consequences when an employer fails to deal with the employee in a fair and reasonable way during the end of employment. 

The Case

In Russell v The Brick Warehouse LP, the employer failed to tell the employee, Tom Russell in his termination letter that he would receive his minimum entitlements under the ESA, including continuation of his benefits, even if he did not sign the release they included. 

Mr. Russell had worked at The Brick for 36 years and was 57 years old at the time of his termination. The judge ruled that Mr. Russell was owed 24 months’ pay in lieu of notice, on the basis of his age, title, and length of employment. 

Additionally, the judge ordered The Brick to pay Mr. Russell $25,000 in moral damages because of their behaviour during termination. The judge focussed heavily on the fact that the termination letter did not advise that if Mr. Russell declined the offer, he would be immediately provided with his statutory entitlements under the ESA. The judge said that by failing to include this provision in the termination letter, The Brick was not being honest and forthright with Russell.


The important takeaway from this case is that the court will not look kindly upon employers who do not make clear to their terminated employees that they will receive what they are owed under the ESA, and who do not provide those entitlements in the correct way. An employee who is terminated under these conditions may be awarded additional amounts in damages on top of what they are owed in severance and termination pay. 

If you have been terminated and are not sure what you are entitled to, you should contact an employment lawyer to better understand your rights. 

You can contact Barrie and Toronto Employment Lawyer Nicole Simes at MacLeod Law Firm via [email protected] or 647-204-8107.

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.



Recent Posts


Recent Posts

Justice for Unionized Employees

Unionized employees often seek our advice regarding human rights issues in their workplace. Sometimes this is because human rights violations have occurred and the union is not assisting them. Other times, the union itself may be part of the problem. The rights of...

read more

Toronto Office

702 - 2 Bloor Street West,
Toronto, ON M4W 3E2

Barrie Office

277 - 92 Caplan Avenue,
Barrie, ON L4N 9J2

Collingwood Office

220 - 1 First Street
Collingwood, ON
L9Y 1A1


Toronto Office

700 - 2 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON M4W 3E2

Barrie Office

277 - 92 Caplan Avenue, Barrie ON L4N 9J2

Collingwood Office

220 - 1 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1A1


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!