Archives: Glossary terms


In mediation, a worker and an employer meet with someone called a mediator. The mediator tries to help them find a solution that they agree on. The mediator is neutral, which means they don’t take the side of the worker or the employer.
If the mediation process works, the worker and the employer make an agreement.

shared custody

Shared custody, also called shared care, is when children live at least 40% of the time with each parent. Shared custody may affect how much child support is paid.

constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal happens when your employer makes a fundamental change to your work situation and you don’t agree or accept it. Because of this, your work or your conditions at work change so much that it’s like you’ve been fired.


You commit a crime when you break a federal law. Federal laws apply in all Canadian provinces and territories. The main federal law is the Criminal Code. Things like theft and assault are crimes in the Criminal Code.


The defendant is the person or company being sued in court.


In Ontario’s human rights laws, the term disability includes many conditions. For example, a disability can be a physical condition, a mental condition, a learning disability, a developmental disability, or a mental illness. Disability also includes being addicted to or dependent on drugs or alcohol.
You could be born with a disability.

holiday pay

In most jobs, people get public holidays off with holiday pay. To figure out your holiday pay:

add up your earnings, which are your regular wages plus vacation pay, for the 4 work weeks before the work week with the holiday in it
divide that total by 20


Under the Employment Standards Act, homeworkers are employees who do work out of their own homes for an employer. Examples of homework are sewing, stuffing envelopes, online research, answering calls for a call centre, and telemarketing.

just cause

An employer may say they have “just cause” to fire you. If they do have just cause, they don’t have to give you notice of termination.
A court might decide that your employer had just cause if you did something that was serious misconduct or you failed almost completely to do your job.


In mediation, people who don’t agree on something meet with someone called a mediator. The mediator tries to help them find a solution that they agree on.
A mediator does not make decisions or force anyone to agree to anything. If people make an agreement after mediation, they either:

won’t need to have a hearing at a court or tribunal,

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