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Wrongful Dismissal/Termination of Employment

If you’re been terminated or laid off from your employment, it is imperative that you seek legal advice before signing any release document or exit agreement.  An employer may not advise you at the time of termination that you have the right to speak to a lawyer, but you have a legal right to do so.  A lawyer will advise you on your legal entitlements arising from your termination or lay off, including severance pay and other compensation you are owed. In most cases, an employee is entitled to more compensation than what their employer has initially offered upon termination.

Constructive Dismissal

If your employer has made changes to the terms and conditions of your employment, such as your pay, duties & responsibilities, location of work, you may have a claim for constructive dismissal. A constructive dismissal means that by changing a fundamental aspect of your employment without your consent, an employer has terminated your employment by operation of law, which could enable you to quit and sue as if you’re been fired.  Each situation involving a constructive dismissal is unique, and it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer right after any fundamental change happens to your employment.

Human Rights Complaints

Have you been treated unfairly or discrimination upon based on your race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital or family status, or medical condition?  If so, that could constitute a violation of the Human Rights Code. If you’ve experienced any treatment of this nature in the course of your employment you should consult a lawyer to determine what remedies are available to you under the Human Rights Code.  Often times, an employer or supervisor is unaware of their obligations under human rights legislation.

Employment Contracts

If you’re about to take a new job and are asked to sign an employment agreement, it is imperative that you meet with an employment lawyer before you sign it.  An experienced employment lawyer will be able to advise you on hidden risks that you face by signing the employment, and strategies to negotiate favourable terms.  If you’ve already signed an employment agreement, an employment lawyer will be able to advise you on the enforceability of the agreement and your employer’s legal obligations under the agreement.

Severance Packages

In most employment situations, you are entitled to reasonable notice of termination of pay in lieu of reasonable notice.  Previous court cases determine what constitutes “reasonable notice’ in a particular case, which is based on a variety of factors, including age, length of service and level of remuneration.  Employers often make an initial severance offer that is well below an employee’s legal entitlement and include other onerous provisions. It is your legal right to seek legal advice before accepting a severance agreement.

Workplace Harassment

Harassment at work can take place in a variety of ways.  It may include sexual harassment, teasing, intimidating or offensive jokes and innuendos. It might involve displaying or circulating offensive pictures or material. Harassment can include offensive or intimidating phone calls or text messages.  Any kind of workplace harassment is difficult to endure and can have drastic affect on your home life as well as work life.  If you are experiencing workplace harassment, you should seek legal advice from an employment lawyer who can help you protect your rights to an harassment-free work environment.

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