Wrongfully Let Go From Work: What You Need To Know
Losing your job is hard. Losing your job when you did nothing wrong, is harder. Wrongful dismissal is something that occurs often in almost all types of employment. Further, being wrongfully dismissed happens to people in the highest level of management through to the most junior or lowest paid employees. Employment laws found in the Employment Standards Code govern what employers can and cannot do with employees. The wrongful dismissal lawyers at Kahane Law Office service both northern and southern Alberta. Our Edmonton and Calgary offices, protect your rights if you face the termination of your employment for no proper reason.
What Constitutes Wrongful Dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer fire someone without any legal reason to do so. The termination may include situations where an employment contact is in place but the termination is not based on reasons allowable in the contact. In other situations, the termination breaches common law employment standards. Basically, the termination occurs where the employer fails to respect your legal rights, contractual or otherwise.
Examples Of Wrongful Dismissal
The following examples highlight classic cases of wrongful dismissal. If you face any of these, please contact our employment lawyers. Often, limitations prohibit collecting against an employer, if you fail to act within the prescribed time frame. For example these include:
- Employers who change the terms of your contract without your agreement;
- Terminations based on false allegations of termination for cause;
- Fired employees who employers fail to pay severance / notice period pay; and lastly
- Situations where employers fail to pay vacation pay or final pay.
What Is Just Cause Termination
To fire someone for cause, two key aspects come into play. The first is that the employer must have a legal reason to fire someone with cause. The second factor involves what steps the employer took to give repeated, and preferably in writing, warnings to the employee. A for cause termination is not a wrongful dismissal. For cause situations vary greatly. For example, the following situations indicate a for cause termination: An employee
- Is drunk or high at work;
- Acts illegally in the workplace;
- serious misconducts themselves in the workplace; and lastly
- Steals from the employer or other employees.
What To Do If You Face Wrongful Dismissal?
The first step, when faced with a sudden termination from your employment, is to speak with an employment lawyer to learn your legal position and rights. All employers in Alberta must follow several sets of rules when it comes to firing employees. If they fail to follow these rules, then you may pursue damages for wrongful dismissal. Our lawyers evaluate your position and help you understand what a fair settlement looks like given your circumstances.
Factors To Look At In Determining Your Position
Many people ask, “what am I entitled to if I am wrongfully dismissed”? A number of factors come into play in these situations. Most of those factors depend on the specific circumstances related to the person wrongfully dismissed. For example, the following factors (just examples, not all) come into play:
- Length of employment;
- Position held;
- The market to find a new job;
- Your personal characteristics such as age; and lastly
- Your salary or wage.
Financial Damages If Wrongfully Dismissed
What are you owed if fired? Financial damages mean how much money a company faces as payment to a person who suffers from the loss of employment in a Wrongful dismissal case. Financial damages, in wrongful dismissal cases, fit into three categories. Our clients’ ability to collect damages includes the ability to collect in any one of the categories but there is no limitation to only collecting under one or two. In some cases, a person’s entitlement to damages includes all three categories.
The three categories of compensation include:
Notice Period Payment
The notice period payment is the amount you normally would make during the period of time required for an employer to give notice to you that they are terminating your job. The amount payable under this category is determined by the number of years of employment. For example, employment for 2-4 years leads to a 2 week notice period. 4-6 years of employment give the employee a 4 week notice period. 6-8 years gives 5 weeks. There is more to this scale, so please feel free to email if you have any questions.
Extra compensation is an amount awarded against an employer who wrongfully dismisses an employee in a manner that humiliates the employee. Employers who end someone’s job in a cruel manner face these extra compensation liabilities. In general, the employee must experience mental distress caused by the termination directly.
In Canada, punitive damage awards occur less frequently than in the United States. The damages punish employers in a way that the courts intend ensure that an employer never treats an employee in that manner again. For example, in situations where an employer intentionally sets out to cause harm to an employee when terminating them, may face punitive damages in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. The courts award punitive damages as a deterrent. Typically, the treatment of the employee must include treatment seen by the court as so “malicious and outrageous” that the employer deserves some sort of sanction against them.
Hiring Wrongful Dismissal Lawyers In Calgary Or Edmonton
Our team of employment lawyers boast experience in every aspect of employment law in Alberta. They review employment contracts and act right through to terminations. We even have litigation lawyers who practice employment litigation. Understand your rights before you sign anything for an employer once terminated. Get the proper advice that you need to make an informed choice. Connect with us in Edmonton for help in Norther Alberta at (780) 571-8463. Or, in in Southern Alberta call our Calgary office today at 403-225-8810 or, for often faster service consider emailing today to contact us.