Generally speaking, your employer has the right to dismiss you without notice and without compensation if your performance is so poor that it would be unacceptable to the average employer.
Your employer may have legal grounds to terminate you in such a way if you have demonstrated any of the following behaviors:
- Willful deception
- Failure to show up for work
- Routine/repeated tardiness
- Stealing from your employer
- Generally poor job performance
- Unwillingness to submit to authority on the job
- Lack of adjustment, despite progressively severe discipline
- Inappropriate conduct outside the workplace that affects your employer or their business
If you have not demonstrated any of the above behaviors, your employer may have dismissed you without just cause.
Such actions are illegal, punishable by law, and highly consequential for affected employees, whose financial security, livelihood, and general well-being are threatened through the loss of a job.
What Can I Do if I Have Been Wrongfully Dismissed by My Employer?
Do not make any snap decisions, sign any paperwork, or agree to any severance benefits. In doing so, you may unintentionally sign away compensation to which you are legally entitled.
The best thing you can do is get information from a reliable source and discuss the nature of your termination with an employment lawyer from JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP.
By evaluating your case with a skilled professional and seeking wise legal counsel, you may ultimately be able to recover wages you would have otherwise earned if your employer had given you reasonable notice.
What Is Constructive Dismissal?
Constructive dismissal happens when an employer makes major changes to an employment contract without the employee’s approval.
This typically looks like:
- Dramatically reduced hours
- Less pay
- And other unpleasant changes intended to give an employee a reason to quit
Constructive dismissal can also look like bullying, harassment, or otherwise causing a work environment to become so sour that a normal person would not withstand it.
According to a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), there are 2 kinds of constructive dismissal:
- Making a single decision to violate the terms of the employment contract by reducing pay, changing their job responsibilities, etc.
- Demonstrating a pattern or series of actions that prove the employer does not mean to abide by the terms of the employment contract
Suspensions do not necessarily constitute constructive dismissal, but they certainly can, depending on:
- The length
- Paid status
- And behavior of the employer when handling the suspension
If you feel your employer has attempted to force you out of your job by violating the terms of your employment contract, you will need help holding them accountable for their wrongs.
What Is Wrongful Dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal is less about the reasons an employee is terminated and more about the way an employer approaches the termination process.
One key component of lawful dismissal is advance notice. Employers are required to notify workers of their termination in such a way that gives them enough time to begin looking for other job opportunities and thereby soften the blow of sudden unemployment.
Though the Canada Labour Code requires employers to provide “reasonable” notice, this term is somewhat ambiguous. If your employer fired you and dismissed you immediately, this is certainly not reasonable notice.
However, even a week or several days may not be enough time for you to seek alternative work, in which case your employer may still be guilty of wrongfully dismissing you.
What Does Unjust Dismissal Mean?
The term “unjust dismissal” refers to the unfair or improper firing of workers in federally supervised industries.
This includes workers who are involved in:
- The postal service
- Television broadcast networks
- And more
Regardless of union status, the Canada Labour Code permits unjust dismissal claims from workers who have been in subordinate or non-supervisory positions for at least one consecutive year.
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