Legal Guidance for Employees Terminated During or After Medical Leave


Navigating the complexities of termination during or after a medical leave is a sensitive and critical issue. Employees on medical leave are often in a vulnerable position, and wrongful termination during this period can have severe emotional and financial consequences. Workplace Sage Legal is dedicated to providing expert legal advice to ensure that employees are treated fairly and in accordance with the law.

Understanding Your Rights

Protection Under the Law:

  • In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Human Rights Code protect employees on medical leave. These laws ensure that employees cannot be dismissed simply because they are on leave due to illness or disability.

Medical Leave Provisions:

  • Employees are entitled to a specific period of unpaid leave for medical reasons without fear of losing their job. Employers are required to maintain the employee’s position until the leave ends, or provide a comparable position if the original job is no longer available.

The Impact of Termination During or After Medical Leave

Legal Considerations:

  • If an employee is terminated during or shortly after returning from medical leave, the employer must demonstrate that the termination is unrelated to the employee’s health condition or the leave itself.

Repercussions for Employers:

  • Terminating an employee under these circumstances without a valid reason may lead to legal actions for wrongful dismissal and discrimination.

Steps to Take If You Face Termination

  • Document Everything:
    Keep thorough records of all communications with your employer regarding your medical leave and any discussions related to termination.
  • Understand Your Medical Documentation:
    Ensure that your medical documentation clearly outlines your health condition and the expected duration of your leave. Proper documentation is crucial in legal proceedings.
  • Seek Legal Advice:
    Consulting with an employment lawyer can provide you with a clear understanding of your rights and the appropriateness of the termination.
  • Negotiating a Severance Package:
    If your termination seems to be directly related to your medical leave, you should request that your employer compensate you for that, via a request for pay in lieu of reasonable notice of the termination of your employment.
  • Starting Legal Proceedings:
    If your employer is not willing to treat you fairly via an informal negotiation, we may recommend that you start a legal proceeding to get what is rightfully yours.


Termination during or after medical leave requires careful legal consideration to ensure that it is not a result of discrimination or retaliation. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is crucial to act promptly to protect your rights. At Workplace Sage Legal, we are here to help you navigate through these challenging times with professional guidance and compassionate support.

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