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wrongful dismissal

The term wrongful dismissal is a very common but often confusing label for rights arising from the termination of employment without cause.

termination without cause

By far, the most common type of termination is the termination without cause. This means the employer does not assert that it has a legal justification for terminating the individual’s employment without notice or compensation in lieu thereof.

However, in the absence of allegations of just cause for termination or a violation of human rights, the law generally permits employers to exercise their judgment and terminate the employment of those they choose.

Courts are not inclined to second-guess the merits of such decisions. Rather, they confine their involvement to ensuring that employees who are terminated without cause receive either reasonable notice of termination or reasonable compensation in lieu thereof (the more common “severance package”).

An enforceable employment contract may set out terms that the parties have agreed, in advance, would constitute reasonable notice in the event of a termination without cause. In the absence of such an agreement, the courts are left to determine what constitutes a reasonable period of notice, or a fair amount of time to search for and locate comparable, alternative employment. In so doing, they typically consider:•  labour law

•  age
•  length of service
•  level of the position occupied
•  availability of similar employment

There is no set, prescribed formula for determining a fair notice period, although employers often have their own internal policies which outline how severance will be calculated. Such policies may or may not be enforceable. We will assess your particular set of circumstances to determine whether you have been treated fairly or reasonably.

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