In the employment context, we always talk about “warning letters” as something an employer gives to an employee to try to correct bad behaviour. It can be just as important for employees to provide their employers with a warning letter of sorts when promises are broken.
Should what you post online lead to potential job action?
QUESTION: I’ve held the position of operations manager for the last five years. My company is going through restructuring because profits are way down. After 12 years of being employed with this company I have been advised that as of two weeks from now I am going to be the purchasing manager, a position that presently reports to me. I will lose some money but not a lot. A number of other managers are being moved around and while I know this is not aimed at me personally, it still feels humiliating. Do I have to accept the change?
A constructive dismissal is a termination by another name. It’s what happens when the law deems that you have been terminated even though nobody ever said, “You’re fired.”
One note of clarification: The cases I write about are rarely my own but rather reported cases. Some people assumed that this article was about a local cheese manufacturer. That case was about a cheese factory a long way away from Hamilton.
Parental guidance is advised for this article.
A constructive dismissal is a termination without the boss saying the words, “You’re fired”. Sometimes a constructive dismissal happens because the employer changes the terms of employment drastically and without appropriate advance notice. Sometimes, however, it results from abuse of the employee.
Sandra started working for an engineering consulting company in January of 2007. In the small branch office there was just her, as a sales assistant, and two sales representatives. By November of that year she walked out the door, never to return, and claimed she had been constructively dismissed as a result of being sexually harassed and bullied.
If you are going to take the position that your employer has so fundamentally changed the terms of your employment that you have the right to walk out the door and sue for pay in lieu of notice, make sure you look before you leap.
Keith had been vice president of a company that sold video gaming terminals in New Brunswick for 6 years when things started to change. Although Keith had been one of the original employees who helped increase sales over that period by 500%, and was earning $160,000 a year, suddenly his star started to fall.
Terminating staff is not the only way employers are trying to deal with these economic times. Finding people who have actually received even a cost of living raise this year is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Many employers have announced pay freezes. Some have imposed across-the-board reductions in pay from 5% to 10%.