Alberta Constructive Dismissal Lawyers
Constructive dismissal is a term that both employees and employers must understand to navigate the complexities of employment law. The employment team at KMSC Law can guide Albertan employers and employees in situations involving potential constructive dismissals.
It is important for employers to be aware of what actions might trigger constructive dismissal before taking those actions. It is critical for employees to discuss potential constructive dismissal with a lawyer before resigning from their employment, because if constructive dismissal is not upheld, the resigning employee will not be entitled to any compensation for pay in lieu of termination notice.
What is Constructive Dismissal?
Constructive dismissal arises where the employer, through their representations or conduct, changes a fundamental term of the employment relationship. This concept is important for both employees and employers to comprehend since it can trigger wrongful dismissal claims, as well as statutory claims under the Alberta Employment Standards Code, or the Canada Labour Code.
Constructive dismissal may arise, for example, when there is a significant decrease in salary or benefits without consent, an unwarranted demotion, unjustified changes in job responsibilities, or the establishment of a hostile work environment through harassment or discrimination.
Any unilateral changes imposed upon an employment contract could potentially lead to a constructive dismissal claim. Employers should therefore be mindful of their actions and decisions, considering the potential implications on the employee’s work conditions and their contractual rights.
The onus of proving constructive dismissal lies with the employee and their legal counsel. They must demonstrate that the employer has unilaterally changed the contract of employment and that a reasonable person in the same situation would feel that the change has significantly altered an essential term of the employment contract.
If a court finds that constructive dismissal has occurred, the employee can resign but also claim damages as if they were terminated. In situations where constructive dismissal might arise, an employee’s claim might be hindered if they have acquiesced to the change, if they have been given advance notice of the claim, or if their employment contract provided that the change might occur from the outset.
KMSC Law Employment Team
The Employment Law team at KMSC Law can assist both employers and employees in navigating the complexities of constructive dismissal. For employees, KMSC can help prove constructive dismissal, explaining the intricacies of the process and working towards securing fair compensation and legal remedies. These remedies could include compensation for lost wages, reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice, and potentially even damages for emotional distress.
For employers, KMSC Law can provide guidance on how to avoid potential constructive dismissal scenarios by reviewing company policies, procedures, and employment contracts. We can also defend employers against constructive dismissal claims, providing effective strategies and robust representation to protect your business interests.