Firings and Layoffs
Do I get notice before I'm let go?
Yes. The amount of notice employers must provide employees depends on the length of time employed:
- one week if you have worked at least thirty days but less than one year
- two weeks if you have worked less than three years
- four weeks if you have worked less than five years
- six weeks if you have worked at least five years and less than ten years
- eight weeks if you have worked at least ten years
Employers can allow the employee to work out this notice period, or pay wages in lieu of notice, for the same number of weeks, or a combination of both.
Does my employer need to give a reason for terminating employment?
If proper notice is given, your employer does not need to provide a reason for termination unless the employer is claiming "just cause" in lieu of notice.
Are there circumstances where the employer or employee is not required provide notice of termination?
There are some cases where employers or employees, do not need to give notice of termination:
- if the employee has worked less than 3 months
- when employment is for a specific length of time or a specific task or job
- when it is only casual employment and the employees have substantial control over whether they accept shifts or not and are not penalized by employers for choosing not to work
- employees act in a manner that constitutes wilful misconduct, disobedience or wilful neglect of duty and the behaviour is not condoned by the employer
- if employees act in a manner that is violent in the workplace or is dishonest in the course of employment
- if the employer acts in a manner that is improper or violent toward the employee
- when employees are placed on a temporary layoff
- if the employee works in the construction industry
How much notice am I entitled to if I am terminated?
The amount of written notice employers must provide employees depends on theperiod of employment. The period of employment is the length of time from when an employee starts with an employer, until the day the employment ends.
- 1 week notice for less than one year
- 2 weeks notice for at least one year and less than three years
- 4 weeks notice for at least three years and less than five years
- 6 weeks notice for at least five years and less than ten years
- 8 weeks notice for at least ten years
Can my boss put in place a different practice for notice of termination?
Employers cannot have alternate notice policies. The only exclusion is a unionized workplace, where a collective agreement has a probationary period that is one year or less.
Can my employer pay me rather than giving me written notice?
Employers can either allow the employee to work out the entitled notice period (above), or pay wages in lieu of notice for the same number of weeks. Employers can also allow employees to work part of the notice and pay wages in lieu of notice for the remainder.
How much time does my employer have to pay me after my employment terminates?
Employers must pay employees all earned wages within 10 days of the last day of work.
Are there different rules for group terminations?Yes. If your boss wants to terminate 50 or more workers within 4 weeks, more written notice is required. Your boss also has to notify the Ministry of Labour and your union, if you have one. The length of notice depends on how many workers are being laid off:
- 10 weeks for 50 to 99 workers.
- 14 weeks for between 100 to 299 workers.
- 18 weeks for more than 300 workers.
If you do not get the required notice, you're entitled to pay equal to the weeks of notice you should have received.
Do I need to give my employer notice if I quit?
Yes, employees who have been employed by an employer for at least 30 calendar days but less than one year, must give at least one week's notice before the last day they plan to work. After employees have completed one full year with the same employer, at least two weeks notice is required.
If I quit without giving notice, can my employer withold my wages or make me pay?
No. Effective April 30, 2007, employers cannot keep wages from employees who quit without notice. Employers must pay employees all earned wages within 10 days of the last day of work.
How do I get more information?
You can call the Manitoba Government Employment Standards Inquiry lines at 1-800-821-4307 outside Winnipeg; (204) 945-3352 inside Winnipeg.