Constructive dismissal is an often misunderstood term in employment law. You could prejudice your legal and strategic position by throwing around this term casually. Our Vancouver constructive dismissal lawyers can help you know what forms the basis of a constructive dismissal lawsuit and whether you have a case or not.
For instance, you may have a strong constructive dismissal case against your employer if the terms of your employment contract have been forcibly and unilaterally changed by your employer. The law provides a list of the types of changes that employers can make without your consent. Solimano Law is prepared to fight for your rights when those changes extend beyond what is permitted or necessary.
Understanding Constructive Dismissal
The legal term ‘constructive & wrongful dismissal’ refers to a situation where a fundamental change is imposed on an employee’s job by the employer. The change must be a substantial departure from the ongoing role played by the employee. Employees, in such situations, can leave their jobs and consider themselves terminated. They can sue for damages and lost wages while looking for employment elsewhere.
‘Constructive’ is a euphemism used for breach of contract because of the actions or behaviour of the employer. Constructive dismissal is different from termination in which the employer expressly notifies the employee that their employment is being terminated.
In these lawsuits, the employee is required to prove that the employer’s actions or behaviour amount to constructive dismissal. The employee must use objective evidence to establish that the employer’s behaviour or actions caused the existing terms of the employment relationship to be repudiated.
It can be challenging and complex to prove constructive dismissal lawsuits since the burden of proof rests on you, the employee. You would need a knowledgeable employment lawyer offering the required guidance.
When Does Constructive Dismissal Occur?
Typically, constructive dismissal takes place when an employer fundamentally and unilaterally changes the existing terms of an employment contract. This is called breach of contract. It can also occur when an employee is forced to work in a poisoned work environment. Constructive dismissal is can also occur when an employee faces discrimination, bullying, or sexual harassment at the workplace.
It is important to note that every change made by an employer cannot qualify as constructive dismissal. The change needs to be substantial to a fundamental aspect of the employment contract and should be made unilaterally by the employer.
Few examples of constructive dismissal include:
- Reduced compensation
- Varied employment location
- Varied or more working hours
- Reduction in responsibilities or status
- Intolerable working environment due to discrimination, sexual harassment, or bullying among others.
There are numerous twists and turns in asserting a constructive dismissal allegation, which can make these lawsuits a minefield. Therefore, it is essential to retain the services of experienced lawyers at the earliest possible opportunity. We can help you assess your position and develop a working strategy to protect your rights.
You should not hesitate in calling us if any of these conditions apply. We can help you assert your rights as an employee. We can help you navigate a lawsuit and understand whether you can quit your job and commence a lawsuit or force your employer to restore all conditions of your job. We can also help you negotiate an exit strategy so that you do not lose out on severance pay and other benefits.
Actionable Steps against Constructive Dismissal
You need to show that you have taken some form of action to be able to make a constructive dismissal claim against your employer. Failure to do so may support the position that you accepted the mistreatment or change in employment terms.
Context and facts determine whether a change is fundamental or substantial. For instance, being moved one floor in your workplace is very different than being relocated to another Province.
It is important that you consult with a capable and reliable constructive dismissal lawyer at the earliest if there are any significant changes made to your employment contract. We can help you protect your interests, understand various options, and ensure that you do not accidentally give up your right to file a claim. We can help you raise an objection or take other actionable steps.
Guiding Constructive Dismissal Matters
We offer legal advice to all our clients in the matters of employment law. This includes all matters related to workplace disputes and constructive dismissal claims. You can count on us to bring experience and strength with the dedicated, client-focused touch of a boutique personal firm. To discuss your constructive dismissal case, contact Solimano Law today.