At its core, a wrongful dismissal is a breach of contract.
While companies are free to hire and fire for a number of reasons, all companies have the responsibility to do so in a legal manner. Generally speaking, employers can fire workers in one of two circumstances: for cause, or without cause. The vast majority of dismissals in Canada are executed without cause. Firing for redundancy, reorganization, poor economic conditions of the employer or the industry and personality conflicts are all examples of firing without cause in which case you are entitled to full wrongful dismissal damages which is many times what your minimum entitlement would be under the Employment Standards Act.
Wrongful dismissal can also occur in cases in which an employer fires you ostensibly for cause, but does so in an unjust manner. Sometimes described as the capital punishment crime of employment law because of its severity and relative infrequency, it is important to note that a legitimate dismissal for cause can only be used by employers under the most serious or extreme professional circumstances, usually after written warnings of dismissal.
Being fired for cause would require the employee to be guilty of serious infractions such as theft, fraud, habitual neglect of duty, dishonesty, sexual misconduct, assault, or some other form of serious misconduct at work. Being fired for cause is very rare, so unless you were terminated because of serious, repeated acts of misconduct at the workplace, you almost assuredly have a strong case against your employer.
It is important to note that any employer found by the courts to have fired an employee for cause in bad faith (perhaps as a way of avoiding paying full or fair severance packages) may end up legally required to pay punitive and/or moral damages as well as additional wrongful dismissal damages, referred to legally as Honda damages.
Trust the experts at Toronto’s number one firm for dealing with wrongful dismissals with far and away the most expertise and experience in the field. Phone Levitt LLP today, and we will make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve, as well as fair treatment under the law.