Complaint of unjust dismissal

Employees who believe that they have been unjustly dismissed by an employer may decide to file a complaint pursuant to Part III of the Canada Labour Code .

Here is how a complaint of unjust dismissal will be handled by the Labour Program.

Alternate formats

Complaint of unjust dismissal [PDF - 93 KB]

Request other formats online or call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). If you use a teletypewriter (TTY), call 1-800-926-9105. Large print, braille, audio cassette, audio CD, e-text diskette, e-text CD and DAISY are available on demand.

Table of contents

Responding to the complaint

As soon as the complaint is received, an Inspector is assigned to the case. An acknowledgement letter indicating the name and telephone number of the Inspector is sent to the complainant.

Admissibility of the complaint

The Inspector determines the admissibility of the complaint since the Act sets out certain conditions for filing an unjust dismissal complaint. For example, the Inspector will verify whether the employer is covered by the Canada Labour Code, whether the employee has enough continuous employment time (12 months) and whether the complaint has been filed within 90 days of the dismissal.

If the Inspector determines that the complaint is inadmissible, he or she will notify the complainant in writing and give them an opportunity to provide additional information.

Request for reasons

If the complaint is found admissible, the Inspector will write to the employer to advise the employer of the complaint and to request the reasons for the dismissal. The employer must reply in writing within fifteen days.

Gathering information

After reviewing the reasons for the dismissal, the Inspector may contact the parties in order to obtain additional information. The Inspector gathers this information to ensure that he or she has all the necessary evidence before entering into mediation.

The role of the Inspector mediation

In the context of an unjust dismissal complaint, the Inspector's role is to try to assist the parties to settle the complaint. The Inspector attempts to bring the parties to an agreement either through conciliation efforts or a more formal method of Alternate Dispute Resolution. If a settlement is reached between the parties, the Inspector closes the file.

Appointment of an Adjudicator

If an agreement has not been reached within a reasonable time frame, the complainant may request that the Minister of Labour appoint an Adjudicator to hear the case. The Inspector then closes the file. The Adjudicator will continue the process and will contact both parties in order to proceed with the complaint.

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