“An employee recently terminated for cause has made allegations that she was wrongfully dismissed and is seeking a substantial amount of termination pay. What should we do?”
“After changes to the commission structure, one of our sales staff promptly quit and claimed that he had been constructively dismissed. How should we proceed?”
Where an employee engages in conduct that is very serious or where there has been a pattern of unacceptable behaviour, employers frequently assert that they have “just cause” to terminate the employee. This effectively denies the employee any entitlement to notice of termination, among other things. Thus, it is not unusual for employees to challenge the termination by arguing that the employer did not have “just cause”.
In other cases, employees may quit their jobs and argue that changes in the workplace, perhaps involving a modification to the pay structure, hours of work, duties or responsibilities, have led to a “constructive” dismissal.
In either situation, employers are exposed to the risk of having to pay out significant sums of money as compensation-in-lieu of giving proper notice, or in some cases may be required to return the employee to the workplace.
Our lawyers offer advice on how to deal with problem employees or implement important business changes in order to avoid such claims. Where claims of wrongful or constructive dismissal do arise, we regularly represent employers before mediators, arbitrators and the courts.