We frequently receive calls from employees that have not returned to work for a period of time due to a disability or other emergency situation. The Employment Standards Act has concise guidelines around the number of family leave, emergency leave, paternity and maternity leaves that can be taken in a year, and your contract of employment may supplement the ESA with more generous leave periods.
There are a number of permissible reasons for an employee to be off of work, including but not limited to:
- Maternity/parental leave
- Religious reasons.
Many employees in these circumstances are accused of abandoning their job positions. Employers, in these circumstances, may opt to terminate your employment, with no advanced notice or severance pay in lieu thereof (see our article on: just cause termination). This is often illegal. If you have been terminated from your position as a result of an alleged job abandonment or because you have been unable to return due to a hostile work environment, you may have a case for constructive dismissal. Many employers will advise that they have deemed you to have resigned; however, at law, a Court will recognize that this resignation is involuntarily, and, in effect, a termination.
Goldstein Employment Law can assist in determining:
-Whether you have abandoned your job and resigned voluntarily or involuntarily;
-Whether you have been constructively dismissed from your employment;
-Whether you are entitled to termination and severance pay.