Can I Collect Unemployment If I Get Fired?
Being fired does not automatically make you ineligible for employment insurance. Eligibility for employment insurance is based on two factors: the reason your employment came to an end and how long you have worked with the employer.
Reason Your Employment Came to an End
You can collect unemployment, even if you were fired, as long as you were not fired for misconduct. Misconduct is usually an act done intentionally. For example:
- Deliberately not following instructions/disobeying orders from the employer
- Stealing office property
- Being persistently late for work after being warned
- Destroying company property on purpose
- Threatening or violent behaviour
Note that the misconduct does not have to occur during work hours if you are terminated because of it.
If you were wrongfully dismissed you should contact our firm as soon as possible or you might lose your ability to receive EI.
Acts that will generally not constitute misconduct are:
- Unsatisfactory work
- Inability to perform certain jobs; or
Note that if any of the above were done deliberately, it could be classified as misconduct. For example, deliberately performing unsatisfactory work because you dislike your manager.
How Long You Have Worked
In order to qualify for EI benefits, you must have worked between 420 and 700 insurable hours within the last 52 weeks. The exact calculation depends on the area of Ontario in which you reside and is done by the Government of Canada.
Can you Collect EI if you are Terminated with Cause?
No, if you were terminated with cause, this would most likely qualify as misconduct if don’t intentionally. Thus, you will not be entitled to EI. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, please contact our firm.
Can you Collect EI if you are Terminated without Cause?
If you were terminated without cause, and are able to work but cannot find work, you may be entitled to employment insurance benefits. Your eligibility to obtain EI is based on:
- If you were employed by an insurable employer,
- The actual reason you were terminated (for instance, what has been recorded by your employer) was of no fault of your own,
- You have been without work and pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks; and
- If you have worked the required number of insurable hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim (whichever is shorter).
If you have quit your job for a valid reason, you can still be entitled to EI benefits. Examples of valid reasons to quit and still receive EI benefits are:
- If you have experienced discrimination
- If you have experienced harassment
- If your working conditions were unsafe and dangerous to your health or safety
- If you must move to another province to be with your spouse of child
- If you were hired for another job that ended up falling through
- If your salary was reduced significantly
If you have experienced discrimination and harassment, you may have a complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code and should contact our firm. Additionally, if your salary was reduced significantly, you could have a claim for constructive dismissal and wrongful dismissal. If this has happened to you, please contact our firm to get the damages you deserve!