Wrongful Dismissal Definition
Wrongful dismissal means a claim made by an employee that their employer has breached their employment agreement with regard to those terms and conditions concerning employment termination. The following are a list of examples of wrongful dismissal claims.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 1: Not enough severance
If an employee is not provided enough severance, it is a wrongful dismissal. Thus, the question becomes, how much severance is an employee entitled to? Read our blog post on calculating severance to determine if a wrongful dismissal may have occurred.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 2: Not enough notice
If an employee is not provided enough advanced notice of termination, it is a wrongful dismissal. Thus, the question becomes, how much advanced notice of termination is an employee entitled to? Read our blog post on calculating notice to determine if a wrongful dismissal may have occurred.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 3: Unfounded just cause allegations
If an employee is terminated with just cause, but a court later determines the employer lacked just cause, it is a wrongful dismissal. Thus, the question becomes, what is just cause? Read our blog post on just cause to determine if a wrongful dismissal may have occurred.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 4: Benefits not continued
If an employee has been terminated from work, but was not provided benefit continuation for all benefits over the entire notice period, it may be a wrongful dismissal. An employer must continue all of an employee’s benefits over at least the statutory notice period (and the common law notice period unless a valid contract says otherwise). This would include everything from health and dental, short term disability, even pension contributions. Read our post on benefits to determine if a wrongful dismissal may have occurred.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 5: Commissions not paid over the notice period
If a sales person or commissioned employee is not provided his or her commissions that he would have earned had he stayed over the notice period, it may be a wrongful dismissal. Read our blog post on severance for commissioned employees to determine if a wrongful dismissal may have occurred.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 6: Bonuses not paid over the notice period
If an employee has been terminated from work but was not provided with the bonus they would have received had they worked through the notice period, it may be a wrongful dismissal. Unless there is an enforceable employment contract saying otherwise, an employer must pay all usual bonuses over the notice period. For example, if a
Wrongful Dismissal Example 7: The employee was constructively dismissed
If an employee is constructively dismissed from
Wrongful Dismissal Example 8: A contractor was not provided
If a contractor was terminated from work without notice, it may be
Wrongful Dismissal Example 9: Employer did not fulfil obligations contained in contract
An employer often promises an employee certain terms and conditions following termination as contained in a termination clause in an employment contract. For example, the employer may promise to continue benefits or pay salary plus bonus for a certain period of time following the termination date. If the employer, however, fails to pay its promised amounts to the employee, it may be wrongful dismissal. Read our post on termination clauses for more information.
Wrongful Dismissal Example 10: Terminated before end of fixed term
If an employer promises to employ someone for a fixed time (i.e. one year), then it may be a wrongful dismissal if the employee is terminated before the end of the fixed term without pay. Unless the employment contract has a valid and enforceable termination clause limiting rights to notice, the employee may be entitled to payment representing the balance of the fixed term contract. Think of it
Wrongful Dismissal Example 11: Probationary employee terminated without any notice
If a probationary clause in an employment contract gives an employer the right to terminate an employee without notice within 90 days, it may still be a wrongful dismissal if the employer terminated the employee in bad faith. An employer can only exercise a probationary clause if it reasonably assessed the employee’s suitability for the position in good faith all the while giving him or her a bonafide opportunity to succeed. Read our blog post on probationary clauses for more information.
Jeff is a lawyer in Toronto who works for a technology startup. Jeff is a frequent lecturer on employment law and is the author of an employment law textbook and various trade journal articles. Jeff is interested in Canadian business, technology and law, and this blog is his platform to share his views and tips in those areas.