What is Wrongful Dismissal?
A wrongful dismissal, sometimes referred to as an unjust dismissal, is generally about two things. Did your employer dismiss you fairly? And did they adequately compensate you when they terminated your employment? Across the country, federal and provincial laws generally favour dismissed employees in the matter of job terminations. When your employer makes the decision to fire you, they must also ease the financial burden of your job loss. A sudden income loss can be hard on individuals, families and society at large. In Ontario, terminations are governed by the Employment Standards Act 2000 (ESA). It sets out the rules your employer must carefully follow when they fire you.
Obtaining sound legal advice is the first step you must take following a termination. Our employment lawyers have advised and successfully represented thousands of Ontario employees over 35+ years of practice. We have made it our business to ensure termination terms work in your favour. The series of articles below will help you understand your rights.
Always seek legal advice before signing termination papers. Tight deadlines set to accept the offer on the table are not enforceable. You have six months to two years to make a claim, particularly if the package is unreasonable or omits items such as benefits or bonus. But if you sign the release, you can’t turn back, except in very rare circumstances.
Your severance package affords you a financial bridge until you find a new job, which is why you should not rush with it. Take the time to properly evaluate and absorb the details of your severance package, working notice or any other terms related to your dismissal.
Wrongful Dismissal: Calculating Notice and Severance
Your employer can fire you for cause or not-for-cause. Our laws stipulate the minimumnotice and severance you should receive from your employer during a job termination. In addition, you are also entitled to fair compensation. And this is determined through common laws, a set of judge-made laws that are based on precedents. They require your employer to compensate you with more than the minimum when your circumstances call for it. Seek legal advice, regardless of whether you are terminated without cause or for cause, to ensure you receive your full entitlements.
Fired without Notice and Severance
While the law is clear about termination pay, many employers let staff go without any notice or severance pay. They will justify your unfair dismissal in many ways. Some will attempt to limit your rights through employment contracts or by classifying you as a contract worker. But the fact remains, employers have very little leeway to fire you without adequate compensation. Even in a for cause termination, they must pay you notice and severance unless they meet the very high standards of proof for a willful misconduct on your part.
Summary Judgement | Fast Tracking Your Wrongful Dismissal Lawsuit
The Summary Judgement is a court procedure that allows lawyers to fast track settlement of employment disputes and particularly, wrongful dismissal cases. With this procedure, the parties submit sworn written statements as evidence. They appear before a judge who examines the evidence and thumbs it up against the law to reach a verdict. It is a very swift and efficient means to reach a settlement. And best of all, it levels the playing field for employees by taking away the fear of long and costly legal battles with employers, who might have deep pockets.
Constructive dismissal is a very unfortunate by-product of an employment relationship gone sour. In this situation, while your employer does not fire you, the conditions at work are so intolerable that you resign, unwillingly. Obvious examples include workplace harassment, bullying, an unreasonable work load or a toxic work environment. However, employers can also create situations that trigger a constructive dismissal by making unilateral changes to your compensation package or terms of employment,
Layoff or Termination? Legally they Differ
Mass job losses make headline news. Some of the largest employers in Ontario are undergoing closure, restructuring or staff reduction. When reporting these unfortunate stories, news organizations tend to use the terms layoff and termination interchangeably. Yet in fact, there is a real and tangible legal difference between the two. Your rights and entitlements differ in both, as well. Employers know all too well that terminations come with a cost. Many will avoid this impending “butcher’s bill” by invoking a “layoff”. Is your’s a sham? Find out more about wrongful dismissals of this nature.
Legal Fees are the main reason why people avoid seeing a lawyer. We can likely alleviate much of that anxiety at the very first meeting. An initial review of your case is usually free. Furthermore, for the majority of cases, our fee is charged as a percentage of the settlement we obtain for you.
We take on a vested interest in seeing your case succeed.
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Top Employment Lawyers In Toronto
The employment lawyers at Lecker & Associates have helped clients resolve disputes with their employers for over 35 years.
Wrongful dismissal cases are the cornerstone of our practice. We understand this area of employment law particularly well. Our experience allows us the confidence to wade into uncharted territory. We are not afraid to take on cases that set precedents at both provincial and federal levels, to bring clarity to ambiguous laws.
We operate with deep expertise in this field.
As fierce advocates for employee rights, in wrongful dismissal cases, we can likely help you better than anyone else.