Wrongful Dismissal / Termination of Employment
Have you been wrongfully dismissed?
“Laid off”, “let go”, “position eliminated”, “terminated”, “packaged out” – there are many euphemisms for being fired. Often, these words hide the truth that the employee has been subject to a wrongful dismissal.
The good news is that if you have been fired, terminated, packaged out, laid off, etc., odds are you were wrongfully dismissed, and are entitled to compensation.
If you have been fired without notice for any reason other than “just cause,” or if you have been constructively dismissed, you have been wrongfully dismissed. Where an employer has “cause” for dismissal/termination, the fired employee is owed nothing other than wages and other entitlements outstanding. There are several causes that result in wrongful dismissal, including discrimination, retaliation, and constructive dismissal. The latter refers to an employer significantly altering a crucial term of an employee’s employment without their consent, such as a material salary reduction.
“Just cause” is a legal concept, and only a qualified employment law lawyer can tell you whether you were wrongfully dismissed and, if so, to what you are entitled. Your employer might assert that you were fired for cause, but it is a very difficult test for an employer to meet. In this situation, your employer wants you to believe you are entitled to nothing.
A wrongful dismissal can leave you feeling angry, upset, and confused. It’s important to give yourself time to collect your thoughts before you do anything, whether it’s resorting to physical violence in the workplace or signing any type of agreement your employer gives you. By seeking wrongful dismissal representation, you will learn exactly what you are entitled to receive and how you should proceed.
What are wrongfully dismissed employees entitled to?
Employees who have been wrongfully dismissed are entitled to “reasonable notice”, or, much more frequently, pay in lieu of notice (known as a severance package).
You also have specific legal rights under employment legislation regarding notice periods, severance pay and other compensation—including having your benefits continue during the notice period. Don’t be fooled by terms in your employment contract that seek to limit these entitlements upon termination. Often, such contractual terms are unenforceable.
Should I sign my exit agreement, separation agreement or severance agreement?
Don’t agree to a severance package, sign a separation agreement or an exit agreement until you have spoken with us. Although your employer may not tell you this on termination, you have a right to consult an employment lawyer before signing.
Because wrongful termination breaches a term of your employment contract, you may be entitled to more than you thought. It’s tempting to take the severance package and move on with your life. But, by accepting your employer’s severance package, you may be signing away your right to sue for additional severance pay and other compensation amounting to months or even years of wages.
A growing number of employers also expect an employee to sign a document agreeing to the termination or severance package that has been offered by the company at termination; and those terms often include restrictions on post-employment activities, such as working for the competition or soliciting customers of the company. This is especially true with senior management, and people who have direct contact with customers or clients.
Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), an employee cannot sue their employer for wrongful dismissal and file a claim for severance pay if they’re both for the same termination of employment. However, an employee has a window after filing their claim to withdraw it if they choose to sue instead.
Talk to a wrongful dismissal lawyer in Toronto who can review your situation with an expert eye for employment law violations.
What can the employment lawyer at Levitt LLP do for me?
The employment lawyers at Levitt LLP are experts in employment law and labour law in Toronto, the GTA, and across Canada. We are relied upon by thousands of employees to handle their wrongful dismissal claims and ascertain the grounds of wrongful dismissal of each case. Our employment lawyers have a reputation for achieving results for our clients.
Don’t rely on boilerplate advice, as each employee’s situation is unique. A Levitt LLP wrongful dismissal lawyer will help you determine what you are entitled to and pursue that amount from your former employer. As some of the top wrongful dismissal lawyers in Toronto, we’ll provide you with specialized employment law knowledge to handle the most complex cases.
If you’ve experienced a wrongful dismissal, schedule a consultation today with one of our employment lawyers in Toronto, the GTA or across Canada to learn about your options.
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