What Should I Do if I’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated?
The last day at a job can be extremely stressful. You have to pack up your things, say your goodbyes, and deal with a large amount of paperwork. The company is asking you to sign numerous documents.
Some are as simple as receipts that you turned in your ID badge or your laptop. However, some may impact your rights and how much severance pay your employer owes you. If you have been dismissed from your employment, you should avoid signing any severance agreements, termination offers, separation agreements and any other agreement pertaining to your employment rights before you seek legal counsel from an experienced employment law firm.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Dismissal?
Before an employer ends your employment relationship, they owe you either reasonable notice of termination or payment in lieu of notice. If you do not receive the proper notice period or compensation, you have been wrongfully dismissed. Given that most severance packages do not include a dismissed employee’s full legal entitlements, most terminations in Ontario are actually wrongful dismissals.
There are three general situations that give rise to wrongful dismissal claims:
- You have been terminated without cause but did not receive adequate notice or compensation.
- You have been unjustly terminated with cause and did not receive any severance pay.
- Material changes to your employment were imposed by your employer which cause you to resign, effectively creating a constructive dismissal.
If you’ve been terminated under any of these circumstances or believe you may be constructively dismissed, you may have a case for wrongful termination.
What Should I Do After a Wrongful Dismissal?
After your termination, there are concrete steps you can take to ensure you receive everything your employer owes you. If you have any suspicions your employer has wrongfully dismissed you, you should:
- Avoid signing any severance offers or letters.
- As soon as possible, write down what happened, including details about dates, names, and what you were told.
- Collect and organize any documents regarding your employment, including:
- Employment contracts
- Performance reviews
- Tax documents and pay statements
- Emails or texts discussing the work environment or your termination
- Any documents provided to you at termination, whether you signed them or not
- Seek the help of an experienced employment lawyer.
If you were offered a severance package, that was likely your former employer’s starting offer. You should consider negotiating the termination package with the assistance of an employment lawyer. Most employees are entitled to more compensation than their employers initially propose, and most are able to improve their packages with the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer.
To secure everything you are owed, seek legal advice from an employment lawyer before accepting a termination package. An employment law attorney can assist even the most knowledgeable and organized worker in obtaining the full amount of compensation they are owed in wrongful dismissal cases.
Singh Lamarche LLP is a Toronto law firm specializing in wrongful dismissal employment law. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, book a consultation today.