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Wrongful & Constructive Dismissal

Calgary Employment Lawyers Offering Advice on Wrongful Dismissal and Constructive Dismissal

The law recognizes the importance of employment in an individual’s life. Whether an employee is full or part-time, temporary or permanent, their position cannot be terminated or fundamentally altered without compensation for the impact it has on their livelihood. There are significant legal implications for improperly terminating an employee’s employment and it is imperative to approach such a situation carefully and armed with legal advice. Both employers who are considering firing an employee and employees who have been fired should seek legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer before they do or sign anything. 

HMC Lawyers advises both employers and employees about the legal implications of wrongful and constructive dismissal, and represents parties in negotiations, legal claims, and litigation arising from dismissal.

Wrongful Dismissal in Alberta

Where an employer wishes to terminate an employee, unless the employer has “just cause” and can prove that the employee engaged in insubordination, intoxication, theft, or other illegal behaviours, the employer must meet the legal and statutory requirements that govern terminations. The employer must also provide the employee with either fair notice or pay in lieu of that notice. 

Legally, a wrongful dismissal occurs when an employee is terminated without being offered a fair and reasonable period of working notice, or an amount of money equal to their pay and benefits for that period. 

Calculating the correct amount of severance pay or length of notice is not an exact science, and there is no formula. It is based on a complex analysis of factors including the employment contract, the length of employment, salary, benefits and options, age, employment levels in the industry, or quality of the overall job market. Although the Employment Standards Act sets out minimum obligations, these are not always appropriate, and in some cases, far too low.

Constructive Dismissal in Alberta 

In a constructive dismissal, there has been a fundamental change to an employee’s job description, duties, salary or other major aspects of their employment. The employee may have been moved to a different role that pays less, has a less prestigious title, or has fewer responsibilities or duties. In some unfortunate situations, employees are even “forced out” of their position, or otherwise pressured into quitting their job due to a toxic work environment. 

Guiding Employers Through the Process of Constructive or Wrongful Dismissal

For employers, the best way to avoid legal disputes is to retain a knowledgeable employment lawyer for proactive guidance and risk management. A lawyer should be contacted as soon as an organization is even considering disciplining or terminating an employee, and absolutely no action should be taken without the advice of that lawyer.

At HMC Lawyers, our Employment Team can help companies determine a fair and reasonable course of action when terminating employment. We can also review any planned reorganization or changes to terms of employment before they are implemented to help reduce the likelihood of allegations of constructive dismissal.

Representing Employees Who Have Been Wrongfully or Constructively Dismissed

If you have been terminated your first course of action following your dismissal should be consulting with a knowledgeable employment lawyer. Obtaining legal guidance will help you protect yourself and ensure that you are receiving the most optimal severance package.  

At HMC Lawyers, we regularly review severance packages, help employees determine whether their package is appropriate, and if necessary, negotiate on their behalf for more compensation. We also represent employees in any litigation that results from a termination. 

In addition, our lawyers also proactively advise clients that are facing changes to their terms of employment and potential constructive dismissal. We will help you understand your rights, outline your legal options, and help you plan an effective strategy for dealing with your employer. 

Effective Risk Management and Legal Guidance from Skilled Calgary Employment Lawyers

Through early and forward-thinking consultation with a knowledgeable employment lawyer, parties can proactively address the legal implications of a termination. HMC Lawyers endeavours to offer exceptional advice at reasonable rates, so clients can consult with counsel from the outset and save money in the long run by minimizing legal risk and exposure to litigation.

To make an appointment and get advice about an employment matter, including wrongful or constructive dismissal claims, call 1-800-480-3534 or contact us online. We represent clients in Calgary, throughout Alberta, and across Western Canada.

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Contact HMC Lawyers for Exceptional Legal Guidance

At HMC Lawyers, we offer strategic legal advice. Our breadth of practice experience allows us to promptly handle almost every litigation-related legal issue that may arise, and anticipate potential roadblocks that may delay its resolution. To make an appointment with a member of our team, contact us online or call 403-269-7220

For articling and/or summer student inquiries please contact either Kristen Hagg or Praveen Thind by calling 403.269.7220 or emailing them directly at joinus@hmclawyers.com.

HMC Lawyers LLP
#1000 903 8th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 0P7

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