Wrongful Dismissal: All You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

Jan 22, 2019

What Is A Wrongful Dismissal?

If an employer does not provide you with adequate notice of termination, or pay instead of notice, then you have been wrongfully dismissed. In most cases, employers provide no notice of termination; you are called into a meeting and told that your employment is terminated that day. If so, you have likely been wrongfully dismissed.

How Much Notice of Termination Are You Entitled to Receive?

If you signed an employment contract with a termination clause then this clause may set out how much notice you are entitled to receive. [Note: Did you know that judges sometimes refuse to enforce these clauses?] Otherwise, you are generally entitled to receive reasonable notice of employment.

Will a Court Enforce the Termination Clause in Your Employment Contract

A judge will not enforce a termination clause unless it is drafted properly. There are many cases where judges have refused to enforce a termination clause. At an initial consultation we will tell you whether we think the termination clause will be enforced.

How Much Reasonable Notice Are You Entitled to Receive?

If no enforceable termination clause in a employment contract exists, a court will consider factors such as your age, length of service, position, and the availability of alternative employment given your education and experience when deciding how much reasonable notice you should have received. You may be entitled to more than one month per year of service.

If You Received No Notice of Termination, How Much Termination Pay are you Owed?

Generally, you are entitled to damages equal to the remuneration you would have received had you worked throughout the notice period. This can include variable compensation such as a bonus, commission, stock options, STIP and LTIP payments. It usually includes the value of the benefits you would have received during the notice period such as group employee benefits, car allowance, or the increase in value in your pension or RRSP.

Will A Court Deduct Earnings you Receive During the Notice Period when Calculating Wrongful Dismissal Damages?

It depends on the terms of your employment agreement, if applicable, and if there are no such terms, it depends on whether the income is from “comparable income.” At an initial consultation we will tell you whether this kind of income will be deducted.

Can You Claim Damages other than Wrongful Dismissal Damages if you are Terminated?

Yes. If you were discriminated against because of one or more personal characteristics like your gender, family status or because you have a disability then you can claim damages under the Ontario Human Rights Code. If you were treated poorly during your employment or at the time of termination, you may be entitled to punitive damages and/or aggravated damages. You may be also entitled to damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress. At an initial consultation we will tell you whether we think you are entitled to these additional damages.

Is Your Severance Package Fair?

If you have received a severance package, we will review the circumstances surrounding your termination at your initial consultation and tell you whether the severance package you have been offered is fair. To schedule a consultation, please call us at 1-888-640-1728 or email us at [email protected]

For almost 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employees on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]

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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