Wrongful Dismissal in Lethbridge AlbertaWrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates your employment unlawfully (without legal cause).

Federal and provincial laws protect most employees in Lethbridge from wrongful dismissal and employers must follow strict guidelines if they want to terminate your employment.

Failure to do so means that you may be entitled to compensation and can file a lawsuit against your employer.

In most cases, negotiating fair compensation can be achieved out of court with the assistance of qualified legal representation.

Speak with an experienced local employment lawyer from Taylor Janis LLP if you have been terminated unfairly in Lethbridge so that we can investigate your case and protect your rights.

WHAT IS WRONGFUL DISMISSAL IN LETHBRIDGE?

When an employee is terminated anywhere in Alberta, the employer must provide one of the following:

So, unless there is just cause for dismissal (such as gross misconduct), your employer must take steps to mitigate the potentially negative consequences of losing your job.

If you receive no (or inadequate) notice or severance pay, you may have a case for wrongful dismissal.

This applies to almost all employees in Lethbridge with some notable exceptions, including:

  • Employees who have been in their position for less than 90 days
  • Seasonal or temporary employees
  • Union members
  • Federally regulated employees
  • Employees with a written contract that specifies an alternative agreement (if it is lawful)

It is not uncommon for an employer to claim that an employee has been fired with just cause but, when challenged, the reason provided does not meet the requirements. This is wrongful dismissal.

If you have any doubts, talk your case through with one of our employment lawyers to find out where you stand.

CAN YOU GET FIRED FOR NO REASON IN LETHBRIDGE?

You may be surprised to learn that your employer can fire you for no reason, provided the termination is managed in the right way.

Your employer cannot lawfully fire you on the spot unless just cause can be shown. Otherwise, you must be provided with adequate (“reasonable”) notice or severance pay in lieu of notice for the termination to be lawful.

Let us say an employer in Lethbridge needs to downsize due to economic circumstances. As long as you are provided with a fair notice period or severance according to your length of service (and other factors), no reason to terminate you is required.

Sometimes, employers prefer to pay off an employee with a severance package rather than have them serve an often-awkward notice period with no work to do.

With notice periods, the minimum requirements are outlined under Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. However, a “fair” settlement also takes common law into account, which considers factors other than the length of service, such as:

  • Age
  • Position
  • Level of seniority and experience
  • Employment conditions
  • Health

Regardless of the above, you cannot be fired based on discrimination against race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. This would be a breach of the Human Rights Code.

WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM TERMINATION NOTICE PERIODS IN ALERTA?

Under the Employment Standards Code, the minimum notice periods that apply for an employer terminating an employee according to a sliding scale as follows:

  • Between 90 days and two years of service: one week’s notice
  • Two to four years: two weeks’ notice
  • Four to six years: four weeks’ notice
  • Six to eight years: five weeks notice
  • Eight to 10 years: six weeks’ notice
  • 10 years or more: eight weeks’ notice

For employees who spend less than less 90 days with an employer, no notice period is required.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WRONGFUL DISMISSAL AND CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL?

You may have seen or heard the term “constructive dismissal” in connection with employment cases if you have been researching online about your case.

In some cases, an employer intends to terminate an employee but does not outright dismiss him or her.

Instead, the employer makes it impossible for the employee to continue working in the business – either by unilaterally changing the terms of employment (e.g., reducing wages) or making employment conditions or environment intolerable for the employee.

This is unlawful and is considered a type of wrongful dismissal as you are entitled to the same compensation as employees who are dismissed outright.

If you believe that you have been forced to resign by your employer without receiving severance, you may have a case for constructive dismissal.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU HAVE BEEN WRONGFULLY DISMISSED?

If you believe you have been terminated unlawfully from your employment in Lethbridge, you have legal options open to you.

You can file complaints with the appropriate labour authorities. You may be entitled to compensation in the form of wages, vacation pay, and other employment benefits that you would have received during your notice period.

Enforcing your right to be compensated may help you transition to new employment and will hold the employer accountable for their actions, protecting other innocent employees from wrongful dismissal.

At Taylor Janis LLP, we have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to handle all of your employment & labour law needs.

To arrange a one-on-one consultation and document review with one of our employment lawyers, please contact us today at (403) 365-4303 in Lethbridge.

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