You can choose to leave your job for any reason. Your employer may end your employment for a number of reasons. For example, your employer can choose to let you go because of poor performance, being late too often, having a bad attitude or because there is a shortage of work.
Employers cannot fire you because you are away from work on a leave you are entitled to take. For example, employees that have worked for more than 13 weeks for an employer can take sick leave. See Leaves from Work for more information. An employer cannot fire you because of things like your sex, race, nationality, religion or place of origin. See Human Rights for more information.
If you lose your job through no fault of your own and cannot find work you may be able to get Employment Insurance. If you are unable to find a new job and cannot support yourself you may be able to get Social Assistance.
If you have been working for your employer for more than 13 weeks and you want to quit, you need to give 2 weeks’ notice. If you have worked for your employer for more than 13 weeks, generally your employer must give you notice if they are going to fire you or lay you off.
Care providers, who go into a person's home to look after children or other family members, are not entitled to notice or pay instead of notice if they are let go.
Notice requirements depend on how long you have worked for your employer. If you have worked less than a year, they need to give you 1 weeks’ notice. If you have worked more than a year but less than 3 years, your employer needs to give you 2 weeks’ notice. If you have worked more than 3 years but less than 5 years your employer needs to give you 4 weeks’ notice. The notice period goes up to 6 weeks if you have worked more than 5 years but less than 10 years and up to 8 weeks if you have worked more than 10 years.
An employer can choose to pay you instead of giving you notice. In this case you would leave your job right away but still get paid for the whole notice period.
The notice periods above are the minimum set out by the law. Some employees, especially long-term employees, could be entitled to more notice. If you think you might be entitled to more than minimum consult a lawyer.
An employer does not have to give notice if they have just cause to fire you. There must have been serious misconduct, such as theft, violence, or a pattern of being absent or late for work without a good reason. If an employer has allowed the behaviour they may not have just cause to fire you. Your employer cannot let you go without notice for minor things like a personality conflict or a single incident of bad behaviour.
PLEA can provide you with information to help you understand many legal matters you, a family member or friend may be facing.