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Wrongful Dismissal

Get to Know Wrongful Dismissal and “Fair Treatment” at Work

Getting let go or fired from your job impacts every area of your life. Your employer has the right to fire you with or without cause, but how they do so matters.

Do You Have a Wrongful Dismissal Claim?

You’re owed an honest explanation for the “just cause” of your termination or a notice period if there’s no reason for your dismissal. Depending on the circumstances of your firing, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim against your former employer. You should also understand what “Fair Treatment” is if you want to successfully move forward with an unfair termination claim.

What is “Fair Treatment” For Job Dismissal Without Cause?

Employers will provide severance pay instead of giving several weeks’ notice that you will lose your job. If you were fired without cause and were not given notice or severance pay, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim.

The Employment Standards Act established employee rights for termination in 1996 regarding notice period and severance pay. The law stipulates a minimum amount of severance, which is:

  • One week of wages for employees who have worked for the business for three months,
  • Two weeks for those working 12 consecutive months,
  • Three weeks for three years of employment, and
  • An additional week of wages for each year after three years.

Severance pay can be extended for a maximum of eight weeks. However, those are minimum standards, and some employees deserve a higher severance depending on the type of job, length of service, age, and the availability of similar positions in the workforce. For example, a senior manager who has worked for one employer for many years may have a difficult time finding another job and would therefore be entitled to additional severance pay.

Wrongful dismissal claims are complex by nature, and it’s crucial to choose an employment lawyer who knows how to successfully pursue your claim for compensation within the time constraints.

What is “Fair Treatment” For Termination with Cause?

Sometimes the reasons employees are fired are obvious and justified. Examples of justifiable reasons would be poor job performance, stealing from the company, or if they are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job. Other times, the cause for dismissal is uncertain.

The 1997 legal case Wallace v. United Graine Growers Ltd. established that employees have a right to know the reason for which they’re getting let go. Employers must be honest and not behave unfairly or act in bad faith.

If the reason for your firing is not entirely apparent to you, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim. Some unscrupulous employers fire workers for “just cause” to avoid the requirements for a notice period or severance compensation. Our lawyers can help you take your case to trial to reach fair compensation for the loss of your job. Damages awarded in wrongful dismissal claims can involve a breach of contract, appropriate severance pay, loss of benefits, and punitive damages.