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Constructive dismissal and breach

When an employee’s job is so intolerable they feel they have no choice but to resign, they may be suffering from constructive dismissal and are entitled to compensation. However, quitting and claiming constructive dismissal is a serious legal action that should not be undertaken without consulting with an experienced Toronto employment lawyer. There are time limits and other considerations that must be taken into account if an employee wants to succeed in their claim.

While there is no definitive definition of constructive dismissal, it is generally defined as a fundamental change in the conditions of an employee’s employment that would make continuing to work in the company “unreasonable and unacceptable”. Some common examples include demotion to a lower level position, changing shifts (e.g., from a 9-5 schedule to overnight shifts), or significantly reducing an employee’s salary. Likewise, significant issues regarding bullying or harassment by coworkers or managers could also constitute constructive dismissal.

Many employers have a written employment contract that sets out critical terms and conditions of an employee’s employment, including the specific duties they are expected to perform, minimum wage, vacation pay, and other compensation. These contracts can be a helpful resource in understanding an employer’s expectations and helping to determine whether or not the employer has breached those contractual terms.

Constructive dismissal and breach of contract?

If an employee’s employer has violated the terms of their contract or committed another type of serious breach, they can raise a personal grievance by providing evidence to support their claims. Depending on the severity of the breach and its impact, an employee could be entitled to damages, including severance pay, lost wages, and even lost benefits.

Before taking any steps to address a potential breach, an employee should attempt to communicate with their employer in a formal way. This may be done in writing or via phone, but should be detailed and clear. Documentation should be made of all communications, and it is important that it includes dates and a description of the events being alleged.

It is also important to remember that an employee cannot claim constructive dismissal lawyer if they have “condoned” or “acquiesced” to the negative changes. If an employee stays silent or accepts the changes, they will have forfeited their right to a claim for constructive dismissal and granted their employer implied consent to further change the employee’s working conditions in the future.

If you are having problems at work and think you might be experiencing constructive dismissal, contact Bune Law to speak with an experienced Toronto workplace discrimination lawyer today for a free consultation. We can review your situation, discuss your options and the strength of your case, and help you devise an appropriate strategy. We can also help you understand if you are eligible for severance pay or other compensation under your employment contract. Contact us now to get started. You can reach our office by phone, email, or online form. We will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

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