Toronto Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer
Robert & Obradovic serves as the top-rated wrongful termination lawyers in Toronto. If you have been let go from your job or experienced unjust treatment by your employer, it is crucial to obtain legal help promptly in order to safeguard your legal rights.
What is Wrongful Dismissal?
A wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer either:
- Terminates an employee without cause but fails to provide the employee with sufficient notice of dismissal; or
- terminates an employee for cause without providing any notice of dismissal in circumstances when the employer did not have just cause to dismiss the employee.
The terms “wrongful” and “unjust” are often used synonymously.
In employment law, a wrongful dismissal allows the employee to claim severance pay (compensation for being fired) while an unjust dismissal allows the employee to seek reinstatement on top of a severance package.
While the term “wrongful dismissal” is often misunderstood, Canadian courts have clarified that not all dismissals are to be considered unlawful. In fact, both the employee and employer have the right to terminate the employment relationship for any lawful reason as long as the other is provided with sufficient notice. If you need guidance, reach out to a wrongful dismissal lawyer in Toronto to help you understand your entitlements and guide you on next steps.
What is Reasonable Notice?
An employee who has been dismissed without just cause is entitled to reasonable notice of the termination of their employment. To calculate reasonable notice, employers must first determine the period of reasonable notice and then determine the amount payable to the employee.
At common law, the period of reasonable notice is determined using the “Bardal” factors (based on the landmark decision of Bardal v Globe & Mail Ltd). The Bardal factors in include the following key factors:
- The age of the employee;
- The length of service;
- The character of the employment; and
- The availability of similar employment.
Where an employee has been dismissed without just cause, the employer has an obligation under common law to provide reasonable notice. If the employer fails to do so, the employee can bring a wrongful dismissal claim against the employer. Even if the employee resigns, they may be entitled to reasonable notice damages in a constructive dismissal scenario.
Who can file a claim for wrongful dismissal?
In Ontario, non-unionized employees are entitled to termination notice, or pay in lieu of notice, under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). In most cases, if an employee has been continually employed for three months or more, the employer must provide the employee with either written notice of termination, termination pay, or a combination of both.
Where an employer makes a significant change to a fundamental term of employee’s employment without their consent, and the employee resigns, that may amount to ‘constructive dismissal’ and the employee may be entitled to termination pay.
Similarly, if an employer lays off an employee for longer than the maximum amount of temporary layoff, the employer must provide the employee with notice or pay in lieu of notice.
Typically, employees are entitled to at least 1 week of reasonable notice per year of employment under the ESA. The employer is also required to continue contributions under the employee’s benefits plans for the duration of the statutory notice period.
The rules under the ESA related to termination are minimum statutory requirements. Employees may be entitled to greater rights under the common law, and may choose to bring a claim for wrongful dismissal. Importantly, employees cannot file a claim for termination pay with the Ministry of Labour and sue an employer for wrongful dismissal. The employee must choose one or the other. Contact Us for a no-obligation consultation to obtain legal advice regarding your rights.
Employees in federally regulated workplaces, such as banks, airlines and telecommunications industry, are subject to the Canada Labour Code. Part III of the Canada Labour Code sets out specific rules and procedures applicable to unjust or constructive dismissals of employees (except managers) who have completed at least one year of continuous employment with a federally regulated employer and who are not covered by a collective agreement.
To learn more, contact one of our experienced wrongful dismissal lawyers in Toronto.
What steps should you take if you have been wrongfully dismissed?
If you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed by your employer, or if you plan to resign from your job on account of your employer’s actions and misconduct, you should consider the following courses of action:
Step 1: Protect your Rights
Do not sign any termination papers or severance offers. You should know your rights before signing any legal documents. You may be giving up your rights of filling a wrongful dismissal claim if you agree to sign the documents.
Step 2: Document Everything
Document the events before and after the wrongful dismissal. Include as much details as possible.
Step 3: Contact a Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer in Toronto
An experienced wrongful dismissal lawyer in Toronto can advise you on your rights, effectively negotiate with your employer, and advocate on your behalf at Court if needed so that you receive fair and just compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact a Wrongful Dismissal Lawyer in Toronto
Whether you are an employer looking for legal advice on discipline or termination of an employee, or you are an employee who has been wrongfully dismissed, our experienced Employment Lawyers can help you understand your options and guide you every step of the way. Get in touch at (647) 724-5179 or fill out our contact form to receive a free consultation with one of our experienced wrongful dismissal lawyers.