EMPLOYEES MUST BE CLEAR BEFORE CLAIMING CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL

A constructive dismissal is a termination where nobody says you are fired.  If an employer significantly changes the terms of employment without reasonable advanced notice and without the employee’s consent, the employee may take the position that they have in fact been terminated, leave and sue for wrongful dismissal.
 

IS IT A CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL?

QUESTION: After rendering 3 years of loyal service to my employer as a Sales Representative, I have learned that our sales department is being sold off to a new company.  I have received a letter of offer from the new employer telling me that even though I have worked in this job for 3 years, I will be on a 90 day probationary period when I start the new job next month.  My benefits are going to be lowered and I have to work out of my home.  They have not indicated whether they are willing to recognize our seniority, what territory I am going to be assigned or what marketing methods they are going to use.  I have been told that there is no negotiations possible with respect to the offer letter.  I have not been offered a severance package.  If I do not accept this new job, have I quit?
 

EMPLOYEES TREATED CALLOUSLY ENTITLED TO BAD FAITH/PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Paul worked as a bartender in Halifax for three years.  Although he was an enthusiastic employee, he was sometimes late for work and had been disciplined a few times and even suspended for three days for his tardiness.  That, however, is not why Paul was fired.
 

TRYING TO FORCE RESIGNATION CAN LEAD TO A CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL

Karen worked for a lumber processing and transportation company for twelve years.  Although she started by doing accounting, over the years her job changed.  By the end, the accounting functions only took twenty-five percent of her time and the remainder was taken up by billing, production scheduling, customer relations and the supervision of one other office person.  She spent most of her day in the office and very little time in the lumber yard.  She was well regarded and viewed as the second-most senior person at the company.
 

CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL TOOK PLACE EVEN THOUGH EMPLOYEE RESIGNED

Allen had been working for sixteen years as a Chemical Lab Technician when he was told that his position was being eliminated but he could have a production job if he wanted. 
 

THERE IS NO LAW REQUIRING AN EMPLOYEE TO WRITE A REFERENCE LETTER

QUESTION:   Recently I have been to a few job interviews where I have been asked for a written reference from my former employer.  That employer will not even give me a letter confirming what I did, how long I worked there and what my salary was.  Is there any law requiring them to give me a letter of reference?
 
 

EMPLOYEE OPTIONS WHEN FACED WITH A CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL

Imagine that you have worked for years and lived in Simcoe, Ontario and your employer suddenly tells you that your job is being moved to St. Catharines.  You are assured that your job in St. Catharines would be substantially the same as the responsibilities you carried out in Simcoe.  When you point out to your employer that the new position will involve three hours of commuting each day, an hour and a half each way, and that the costs of that commute will reduce your overall income, in polite terms you are told those are the lumps. 
 

BE CLEAR ON FIDUCIARY DUTIES BEFORE STARTING NEW EMPLOYMENT

A man we will call Andy worked as a general manager for the Toronto division of an elevator consulting  company.  He reported directly to the president of the company and oversaw the day-to-day operations.  He had primary responsibility for all client contact and, so far as those clients were concerned, Andy was the face of the company.  When they thought of the company, they thought of him. 
 

MINIMUM WAGE AND THE EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT

QUESTION:    It seems like I have been waitering for half my life.  Finally I am getting around to asking a few questions.  Is it true that waiters have a lower minimum wage than everyone else?  In addition, my employer often schedules me for a four hour shift and then sends me home after an hour if it is not busy.  Shouldn’t he have to pay me for the four hours I was scheduled for?
 

EMPLOYEES MUST ABIDE CLEAR WRITTEN POLICIES

A man we will call Greg started working at an automotive manufacturing plant in Oakville in 1994.  In the fall of 2000 he learned that his father in India had passed away.  He went into work and filled out a form called a "Personal Leave of Absence Request".  He indicated on the form that he would be  beginning the leave that day and returning in "4-5 weeks".  Greg indicated the reason for the leave and left the form on his supervisors desk before going home and catching an airplane for India.  He had spoken to his supervisor about the death of his father and so the request for a leave of absence was not a surprise.