Our life tends to revolve around our work and we all strive very hard to maintain a successful career. From the very childhood, we are urged to be focusing on our aim in life and as we grow up, we pursue the stream that we want to excel professionally. If we glance on our life’s journey, we will find that most of our life energies, investments and time went towards pursuing our professional goals.
In the modern time, our jobs are the central focus around which we build our life; after all, our financial well-being is strongly correlated with our work. We don’t hesitate in giving top priority to our work. Yes, we are referring here to all the birthdays, ceremonies etc. that you missed only because we have to be at work!
No doubt, our work gives our life a lot of structure, meaning and purpose, and we certainly cannot part away from it; but when we have to face situations like “wrongful dismissal” it can be certainly heart-breaking and frustrating. The same job, for which you sacrificed so many things and invested so much of your efforts, when is suddenly taken away from you, can lead to lots of stress. You are rendered helpless financially on one hand and also it can be a setback professionally and psychologically. There are many people who face depression or anxiety when they are wrongfully dismissed from their beloved jobs.
First of all, you need to understand the term “wrongful dismissal”. It happens when you are dismissed from your job or demoted without any justification or valid reason. It can be a subjective matter to what do you mean by “wrong”, as every individual has his/her own way of perceiving things and also, every situation tend to be different from another. There are some that can file for wrongful dismissal claim when they are not given enough time to do job search or when they are not compensated fully. Then, there are many who blame organisational politics or bad intention for their unjust dismissal.
In this article we will take a look inside this very serious aspect and help you in seeking apt support so that you can receive justice and compensation for the hassle (or harassment) you have to face.
So here we are providing you the factors that clearly can be counted as wrongful dismissal:
Reasonable notice time period and privileges during notice
One of the most common argument that is related to wrongful dismissal is length of the reasonable notice period. Even the question of incorporating employee’s benefits during this time period remain disputable in many cases. In majority of situations, it has been observed that employers never give any ‘working notice’ and prefer to terminate their employees (if they have decide to do so), and they prefer to provide compensation in lieu. It happens because the employer no longer wants services of the terminated employee in their organization and avoid enmity feelings because of termination.
In case a worker has been given a working notice, it is necessary that an employer maintains a similar role with an employee. Also, the employer has to provide fair compensation for their decision which is sure to affect the employee’s financial stability. In such situations, the employer doesn’t have power to change responsibility, role and authority of the employee in question.
If you are terminated from your designation without reasonable notice period set by The Employment Standard Act then you should take help of a reputed employment lawyer to secure compensation that is your “right”. There are many factors that can affect compensation amount and the court will verify all these factors that are associated with appropriate notice period. These factors are as follows:
- Training and experience necessary for the job: If you fulfill the criteria of the job and have relevant experience to match workings requirements of the organisation, you will surely enhance your chances of getting high compensation. It becomes clear that you are a good fit for the job and you are dismissed unjustly, if the employer fails to provide anything solid against your professionalism. In such case, you need to be very proactive in seeking a claim for mistreatment from your employer.
- Length of employment: The length of employment is a very crucial factor for deciding the notice period given to an employee. In general situations, the notice period of 2 weeks is accepted but when the employee has been working in the organisation for a long time, the length of the notice period can even extend to 8 weeks. Moreover, in case of wrongful dismissal, the claim money can be correlated with this aspects surely.
- Availability of equivalent alternative employment: The notice period cannot suffice if there are no proper job opportunities for you after termination of your present job. This condition can contribute to increase claim amount you will be seeking.
- Employee’s education background relevancy: Educational qualification of an employee is another factor that needs to be considered by an employer for giving the notice period as well as compensation. If these are not met fully, then you have all rights to file for wrongful dismissal claim in Toronto.
- Responsibilities of designation: It has been observed that during the notice period responsibilities of employees may be reduced or increased significantly (both actions can be humiliating and stressful). Such treatment by the employer can be taken into consideration while filing for a claim.
- Employee’s age: Age of an employee can be also considered by an employer while giving compensation or notice period. The senior group is liable for higher compensation and longer notice period, and if the employer fails to deliver that, employees can seek help of an employment attorney to settle the compensation.
Things that should be there in the Notice
After defining the reasonable notice period, the next thing is to ensure that employee’s benefits are included in the notice period. The aim of legal proceedings is to provide employees with similar benefits and designation along with compensation in case there is wrongful dismissal. In such situations an employee gets qualified for continuation or replacement of all employee benefits that he/she would have received after otherwise.
Normally, it includes all health related benefits, such as medical and dental benefits, etc. An employee should also be provided with all other benefits such as increment in salary, bonuses etc that he/she would have received in normal circumstances. Any derisions in it may lead to serious offending of an employee’s rights, especially when there is no justified reason for such mistreatment.
Here is an example of such situation that will help you in understanding this point more explicitly:
If a person was working during the notice period, he/she should receive all non-discretionary bonuses that an employer is liable for. Pension plans or RRSP contribution should be provided by the employer along with other benefits that the employee deserves while the notice period is on. Some of these provisions are:
- Increment in salary
- Insurance coverage
- Access to a company car
- Paid holidays
- Stock options
- Compensation for new job search
If the employee fails to provide these to the employee while he/she is still associated with the organisation (during the notice period), then it can be taken against the employer and the organisation. In this, the employee can seek a claim for deprivation of his/her rightful benefits and provisions.
Bad faith of employer
There are many cases when people are terminated from their job unfairly or due to bad faith of the employer. In such situations an employee can demand to increase compensation rather than receiving the amount determined by the employer. Here are some examples of bad faith:
- Making allegation of sexual harassment or frauds for firing without any evidence
- Terminating an employee from his/her designation without any warning or opportunity to explain
- Fail to provide any strong reason to remove an employee from his/her designation
In addition to this, an employer should provide fair chance to an employee so that he/she can describe the complete story. An employer should listen and consider all details before making any decision; otherwise it will be taken as bad faith termination and its repercussion can be detrimental to the employer and his/her organisation.
Termination from designation without triggering any dismissal clause in contract
As we all know, there are some terms and conditions mentioned in most contracts and an employee must follow all instructions. If they have been working without triggering any single or many terms and conditions that could lead towards termination, certainly an employer has no right to dismiss. An employer must provide valid proofs that has triggered termination of an employee along with the reasonable notice period of termination. Termination is treated valid if solid evidences are provided by an employer for firing an employee.
There is no denying that employers seek ways to minimize exposure of common law notice periods (that are awarded by the court) by increasing termination clauses in employment agreement. However, termination clause should be triggered directly (if an employee is to be fired) and it should be mentioned in the reasonable notice period of termination. The court will verify the employment contract before making the final decision when reviewing wrongful dismissal claims in Toronto.
What is the right thing to do in case of wrongful dismissal?
Now the question arises: what you need to do when you face wrongful dismissal in your professional life. Without any doubt, this situation can be really intimidating for people who consider their work life highly important (well, this includes most of us!).
There is a lot of stress, frustration and harassment associated with wrongful dismissal. Hence, you can also seek legal proceeding to receive the rightful compensation for all that you have to suffer and the loss that you are forced to endure.
It is suggested that you need to promptly seek support and services of an experienced employment attorney who can help you in securing suitable claim amount. Let’s delve deeper into advantages that you can get when you hire an experienced lawyer for your case:
- Your attorney will take into consideration all factors involved, while evaluating your claim. There can be many aspects that you might not consider on your own but practical knowledge of an attorney can help you in assessing your loss scrupulously.
- Secondly, you will need evidences to prove that you are dismissed in an unfair manner. Here your attorney can give you a lot of guidance, as well as help you in securing apt proofs that showcases your innocence as well as your employer’s mistreatment towards you.
- Most importantly, there are many legalities that are associated with job contracts, which only an experienced and well-qualified employment lawyer is aware of. His/her insight into this matter will not only save you from further hassle but also will help you in increasing your chances of successful claim settlement.
- You will be able to keep a lot of stress at bay as you don’t have to worry about the documentation process. Your attorney will take care of it thoroughly.
- If you are in doubt whether you should seek legal services or not, then it is advisable that you look for a free initial consultation for sure. There you will be able to discuss your case meticulously with legal experts and get clear view about weak and strong points of your case.
- There is also an option of paying your lawyer from the compensation money; this way, you can cope with financial concerns in a better manner.
All in all, it is really worthwhile to seek legal support and services when you are struggling with unfair circumstances. You should never feel discouraged if you know that you are “right” as there is a lot of help and support at your disposal. All you need to do is seek it well on time and from qualified professionals. Soon you will be on your way towards justice and better claim settlement.