Newfoundland & Labrador
Firings and Layoffs
Do I get notice before I'm let go? Yes. If you've been employed for one month or more. This gives you the right to written notice or to pay if notice is not given. How much notice you get depends on how long you've been working at the same place. If you decide to quit, you also must give the same amount of notice your boss would have to give you if you were being let go.
(Note: If you belong to a union, check your collective agreement. You'll likely have better notice and termination pay clauses than the minimums found in the law. You'll also have the right to fight an unjust firing through your grievance procedure. And you probably will also have severance pay provisions.)
Length of employment -- Notice required
Less than 1 month -- None
1 month to 2 years -- 1 week
2 years or more -- 2 weeks
Vacation can't be counted as part of the notice period unless you and your employer agree.
Do I get paid? If you don't get proper written notice, you get paid for the number of weeks of notice you should have received.
Within 1 week from the date your work ends, you must be paid:
- All vacation pay owed to you. And
- Pay instead of notice, if applicable.
Are there exceptions to termination notice? Yes. You aren't entitled to termination notice if:
- The lay-off lasts less than a week.
- You work in construction.
- You've worked for your employer less than 1 month.
- You're fired for just cause.
- You're hired for a definite term or specific task lasting 12 months or less and the work doesn't end before the 12 months are up.
- There's a lack of work your employer couldn't foresee or control.
Can a worker ever quit without giving notice? Yes, but before you do that, it's best to contact the Labour Standards Division. Here is a partial list of reasons workers can quit without notice:
- If their boss is mistreating them.
- If their boss puts their health and safety at risk.
- If they've been employed for less than a month.
- If they're letting their employer hold their wages so they don't have to give notice.
If I don't give notice, can my boss hold back my wages? Only if you agree to this instead of giving notice. If you don't agree, your employer must deposit the amount owed to you into the Unpaid Wages Trust Account. The Director of Labour Standards will then make a ruling.
What about temporary layoffs? Your boss has to give you the same notice for a temporary layoff that you would get if the layoff were permanent. Notice isn't required if the layoff lasts a week or less.
A temporary layoff can last up to 13 weeks in any 20-week period.
What if the "temporary" layoff lasts longer than 13 weeks? Your employment is ended.
Are there different rules for group layoffs? Yes. When 50 or more workers are laid off in a 4-week period, the following notice applies:
- 8 weeks notice for 50 to 199 employees.
- 12 weeks notice for 200 to 499 employees.
- 16 weeks notice for 500 or more employees.
Notice has to be given in writing to each worker, and then to the Minister of Labour. If your employer fails to give notice to the minister, then you can't be laid off.
How do I get more information? You can contact the Department of Labour, 4th Floor, West Block Confederation Building,
P.O. Box 8700, St. John's Newfoundland, A1B 4J6. Telephone: 709 729 7420. Fax: 709 729 3445