I have often had American employers ask me if I know what I’m talking about. And that question always comes when they are asking if they can terminate an employee’s employment. The first shock comes when I explain that there is simply no concept of “at will” in Canada. The second shock comes when I explain how high the cause threshold is. The next shock comes when I explain that without cause, an employee is entitled to reasonable notice or pay in lieu of reasonable notice, the same notice that an employee who was affected by a downsizing would be entitled to. And the last and biggest shock comes when I explain just how much that notice or pay in lieu of notice can be.
The following explains just how complicated, and expensive, the termination landscape in Canada can be.