What is a Wrongful Dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is dismissed or terminated from their employment but are not provided reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. In Alberta, the Employment Standards Code sets out the minimum amount of termination notice that must be provided to provincially regulated employees upon termination. However, many employees are entitled to more than the minimum amount of notice set out in the Code. When an employer fails to provide reasonable notice, an employee may be in a position to sue the employer for wrongful dismissal.
What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Dismissal Claims?
The three types of wrongful dismissal claims are:
- Constructive Dismissal;
- Just Cause Dismissal; and
- Dismissal Without Proper Notice
Where an employer makes unilateral changes to fundamental terms of the employee’s contract without prior notice or otherwise makes the employee’s work environment intolerable or unsafe.
Just Cause Dismissal
Where an employer makes a false or inappropriate claim that they have just cause to terminate an employee and fails to provide them with reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice.
Dismissal Without Proper Notice
Where an employer terminates an employee without cause but fails to provide proper termination notice, pay in lieu of notice or adequate severance pursuant to the common law.
How Can Employers Protect Themselves From Wrongful Dismissal Claims?
Hiring a lawyer to review the terms of an employee’s termination can help protect against unwelcome surprises down the road, such as prolonged litigation. At West Legal, our employment lawyers can help determine whether termination is warranted under the circumstances, and advise on the associated risks, or the availability of alternative solutions. Our lawyers can also assist by drafting severance packages that are consistent with the law as well as your organization’s objectives, including applicable releases and appropriate termination documents.