No one likes to be fired from a job, but wrongful dismissal makes an uncomfortable situation worse.
Wrongful dismissal, in essence, refers to being fired in an unlawful manner. This can occur in more than one manner, so it is important to be aware of your rights to determine if you are the victim of wrongful termination.
Wrongful dismissal will typically happen when:
- The employee is dismissed or terminated without having received advance notice. An employer may release you without notice if, for example, they feel that the work environment will be negatively impacted during the notice period, but in such cases, they are required to provide payment in lieu of notice (severance pay).
- The employee is terminated improperly for cause and without severance pay. The employer may believe that they have sufficient reason to dismiss the employee, but this is likely incorrect because employees rarely display the severe misconduct required for justification.
- The employer makes significant changes to a primary function of the employee’s job, effectively requiring the employee to perform duties that they never agreed to. If the employee fails to complete these tasks and are let go, this is known as constructive dismissal.
What Options Are There For Dealing With Wrongful Dismissal?
If your employment has just been terminated and you feel that you have been wrongfully dismissed, avoid signing any severance agreement that your employer presents to you until you can have it reviewed by an employment lawyer.
Your employer may inform you that there is a deadline to accept the offer, but this is an arbitrary date and is used mainly as an attempt to pressure you into signing before having it reviewed. By waiting, an employment lawyer can examine the offer to see if it meets the proper standards. They will help you understand your rights so that you know all of your options.
In BC, you will have up to two years from the date you are fired to make a claim of wrongful dismissal, though this deadline can be modified in certain circumstances. It is always best to consult with a professional who can help you determine the best way to proceed.
Making a Claim For Wrongful Dismissal
Most often, employees can sense when they have been treated unfairly by their employer, leading them to suspect that they have been wrongfully dismissed, even if they are unfamiliar with the precise details of their rights and the employer’s obligations. This is why it is important to check with an employment lawyer who can go over your case with you to determine if you have a wrongful dismissal case. They will then be able to start a claim for wrongful dismissal on your behalf.
In most cases, you’ll be able to negotiate with your employer for proper compensation, resolving the situation before having to pursue matters further.
Wrongful termination cases can be complex, and complications may arise if the employer, employee, or both don’t fully understand the related laws. If you suspect that you have been wrongfully dismissed, contact us today to learn more about your options and whether you are entitled to greater compensation.