Wrongful Dismissal—What Makes it Wrong?

Wrongful Dismissal -- Woman packing her belongings

When an employee is terminated for cause and the cause if found to be valid, the termination is not wrongful. Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed by their employer without reasonable notice. Notably, the actual reason for the dismissal itself may be valid, but if the amount of notice provided is insufficient, the dismissal can be considered “wrongful”.

It is rare that an employer has cause to terminate an employee without notice. For this reason, employment standards legislation provides minimum amounts owed by the employer to the terminated employee. This notice may be provided as working notice, by salary continuance in life of notice, or as a lump sum payment in lieu of notice.

Wrongful Even after Meeting Statutory Minimums

Even where the employer has met these statutory minimums, the dismissal could still be considered wrongful if the notice provided is not reasonable in accordance with notice requirements at common law. In many cases, the reasonable notice of termination under the common law is often extraordinarily higher than the statutory minimums.

Similar to wrongful dismissal is constructive dismissal, which occurs when an employer makes unilateral changes to the employee’s employment which the employee does not consent to, either explicitly or implicitly. In this situation, the employee may be able to treat the employment contract as being at an end, which entitles the employee to notice from the employer as if the employee had been terminated.

For related case studies and more information on Wrongful Dismissal, search our blog.

More Concepts on Employment Terminations

Minken Employment Lawyers is your source of expert legal advice and advocacy on wrongful dismissal, wrongful termination and other employment law issues, serving Toronto, Greater Toronto Area (Markham, Newmarket, Aurora, Richmond Hill, North York, Vaughan, Woodbridge, Mississauga, Brampton, Pickering, Ajax, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Brooklin, Whitby, Oshawa etc.), Ontario, Canada as well as national and international clients for over 30 years.

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