REPRESENTING EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES IN OTTAWA, CANADA
2200 Prince of Wales Drive,Suite 401
Ottawa,ON K2E 6Z9
Tel: (613) 225-4400 Fax: (613) 319-0536

Constructive Dismissal

When an employer changes your role within the company so much that it is not the job you were hired for, what can you do? Whether it's an unmerited demotion, unjustified criticism, forced relocation, change of shift or a pay cut, this is not what you agreed to when you signed up and you may have the right to claim constructive dismissal. As an employee you have rights. An employer cannot hire you for one job and then shuffle you to other positions, other shifts, or even other cities. I can help you determine whether you have a case of constructive dismissal and fight for your entitlement.

An unilateral and fundamental change to an employees' terms and conditions of employment may be grounds to claim constructive dismissal. Where constructive dismissal is found an employee is entitled to "resign" from their employment and the employer is deemed to have terminated their employment.

Actions which may form the basis for a constructive dismissal claim include:

  1. Demotions where there is a substantial loss of pay, reduction in function, or where the employee is required to work with someone they do not get along with.
  2. Change of hours.
  3. Unjustified criticism of an employee's performance coupled with the threat of further disciplinary action including termination of employment.
  4. Poisoned work environment.
  5. Technological changes.
  6. Reduction in compensation including salary, bonuses, or commissions.
  7. Forced relocation.

The change must be fundamental rather then a minor or incidental term of the employment relationship.

As in any case of wrongful dismissal an employee who is constructively dismissed has a duty to mitigate their loss by looking for other work. While an employee may be constructively dismissed, unless the salary offered is different, the work demeaning, or the personal relationships acrimonious a court will expect the employee to accept the position offered in mitigation of their damages until they secure alternate employment.

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