I Quit, Can I Sue My Employer for Constructive Dismissal?

Jun 19, 2017

We are often asked the question: “can I sue my former employer for constructive dismissal?”  The answer is maybe. A new Court of Appeal decision confirms that whatever change in working conditions that occurred, it must be the reason you quit.  Otherwise, you are out of luck.

What is Constructive Dismissal?

Generally, constructive dismissal is when your employer makes a significant change to your employment that shows it no longer wants to be bound by your contract.  This could include lowering your pay, a demotion, or suspension.  For more examples about the kind of actions that could be constructive dismissal keep reading here.

The Case

In Persaud v. Telus Corporation, Telus increased Ms. Persaud’s working hours and one of her co-worker’s accused her of sabotaging a project.

In addition to these problems, Ms. Persaud was dissatisfied with the management of Telus, unhappy with the direction the company was taking, critical of the performance evaluation structure, and particularly unhappy with Telus’ treatment of her friend and mentor.

The Superior Court found that she did not quit because of increased hours or a poisoned work atmosphere but because of these other concerns.  The Court of Appeal agreed.

They also found that after the changes in working hours, Ms. Persaud continued to work without objecting.  The court found that she implicitly accepted the change.

Both courts denied Ms. Persaud any damages.

Lessons

To determine whether you have been constructively dismissed a lawyer needs to carefully review the facts of your case. Constructive dismissal cases can be more complicated and risky than wrongful dismissal.  You need to get good advice and timing is important. You need to decide whether to take a legal step quickly.

If you are thinking about resigning, or have already quit, and would like to speak to an employment lawyer at the MacLeod Law Firm, you can reach us at [email protected] or 647-204-8107.

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

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