Have I Been Constructively Dismissed?
When an employee quits a job, they often have a good reason for it. In some circumstances, leaving a position can be considered a “constructive dismissal” rather than a voluntary departure under Ontario law.
If you’ve resigned (or are thinking of quitting your job) because of changes to your employment, harassment, discrimination, unsafe work practices or a toxic work environment, you should seek legal advice from a Toronto employment lawyer to see if you qualify for full severance pay and other benefits.
Constructive Dismissal Claims Due To Changes in Wages and Terms of Employment
When an employer makes a unilateral change to your position in one of the following ways, they’ve changed the essential terms of the employment contract you had with them when you started work. A modification to a fundamental term of the employment relationship may be considered constructive dismissal in the following situations:
Reducing Wages or Benefits
This may include cuts to bonuses, commissions, pension benefits, and other forms of compensation.
Even though employment standards legislation permits a temporary layoff (furlough), it could still constitute a termination of employment by way of constructive dismissal.
If you’re forced into a demoted role, your employer’s actions are typically considered a constructive dismissal.
Changing Work Shifts
This may include a reduction in hours or a mandatory increase in hours. Constructive dismissal may also occur if your employer significantly changes your regular working hours – for example, a change from day shift to night shift.
Change in Location of Work or Mandatory Relocation
If an employer changes the place where you’re expected to report to work, this may be considered a constructive dismissal if it would require a move or a significant increase to your commute.
Constructive Dismissal Claims Due To Toxic Work Environments
Sometimes a fundamental change at your workplace isn’t as simple as a modification to compensation or benefits. If you’ve found it impossible to continue working in a position because of a toxic work environment, your employer’s conduct may constitute a constructive dismissal.
Harassment and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If your employer engages in or turns a blind eye to acts of harassment occurring at work, you have likely been constructively dismissed.
Discrimination and Unwarranted Discipline
If you leave your job due to an employer’s discriminatory actions or behavior, it is considered a constructive dismissal.
If you believe you may have been constructively dismissed, it’s essential to take action to protect your rights. An experienced employment law attorney can help you determine if you qualify for severance pay and other benefits or damages.
Singh Lamarche LLP is a Toronto law firm specializing in constructive dismissal employment law. If you believe you have been constructively dismissed, schedule a consultation today.