If your employer made significant changes to your role that forced you into quitting your job, you may be able to make a claim for constructive dismissal. Whether you think your (former) boss would’ve been a great candidate for a role in the movie Horrible Bosses, or you experienced something a little less blatant, you should talk to a lawyer right away. Constructive dismissal doesn’t necessarily mean your boss was outright horrible. It can be a lot more subdued, like a company restructuring that significantly impacts your work responsibilities or wage.
In terms of employment law, constructive dismissal is basically a fancy way of saying that your employer made such drastic changes to your role, terms of employment, or work environment that you were forced to leave your position. If you did not agree to these changes, you may have the grounds to make a claim. We’ve been serving Albertans in Calgary and across Alberta for over 45 years, and we understand the ins-and-outs of Alberta’s employment law. Losing your job is stressful. We’re here to reduce that stress. At Litco Law you get an entire legal team dedicated to your case. We’ll take care of the legal work and the paperwork, so you can focus on getting back to regular life. Our Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyers will answer all your legal questions – for free. To learn a bit more about constructive dismissal, keep on reading.
What qualifies a constructive dismissal?
The term ‘constructive dismissal’ is used in law to describe situations where an employer fails to uphold the terms of your employment contract or makes changes (unilaterally) to the terms of your employment without your consent. The employer has not directly fired or terminated you, but you are essentially subjected to an “If you don’t like it, quit” scenario. When the alternatives are either leaving the job or submitting to a significant change to your role, this is sometimes called ‘quitting with cause.’ In Alberta, constructive dismissals are covered under Part III of the Canada Labour Code.
A claim for constructive dismissal may be made as a result of changes to an employee’s:
- Role or title ( i.e. demotion);
- Pay, benefits, and remuneration;
- Working conditions;
- Hours of work;
- Location of work (i.e. different city, province, or country);
- Forced leave of absence or suspension without pay; or
- Work environment (i.e. abuse, harassment, bullying, or intolerable work relationship).
Remember that this list is not exhaustive. If you’re wondering if you have the grounds to make a claim, or you have questions about employment law, give us a call or email today.
What can you do if you’ve been forced to quit?
Speak to a Calgary Constructive Dismissal lawyer right away. Explain to the lawyer what happened and why you left your job. Your lawyer can advise you on what steps to take next. The sooner you are able to do this, the better. A Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyer will be able to determine if you have valid grounds to make a claim. In some cases, your lawyer may advise negotiating an appropriate severance payment with your former employer. Since your employer essentially forced you to quit, they may owe you the severance pay you would have been entitled to if you were laid off. If that is not possible or in your best interest, the next step would be to pursue a claim through the courts.
You will also need to have evidence to support your claim, such as:
- Records of written correspondence between your boss, colleagues, or HR (this could be through Email, Teams, or Skype);
- Proof of any fundamental changes to your role;
- Notes from meetings or discussions with your employer; or
- Payment records such as pay stubs.
In general, it’s usually easier to collect evidence sooner rather than later. A lawyer will be able to tell you what the courts would be looking for and assist you with gathering evidence to support your claim. Have questions? Give us a call or email.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t quit yet…
If you are here reading this article, you’re on the right track. It’s important not to make rash decisions in the heat of the moment. Take a deep breath (or several). Now you can begin to carefully plan your departure. Always talk to a lawyer first. An employment lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have grounds to make a case for constructive dismissal. Your lawyer may be able to advise you on how to go about quitting and gathering proper evidence, to ensure you have a strong case when you do resign. At Litco Law it won’t cost you anything to speak to a Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyer, ensuring you get all the legal answers you need before you decide your next steps.
If you are thinking of quitting and want to make a claim for constructive dismissal…
- DO NOT accept any changes to your role that you do not agree with.
- DO NOT sign anything from your employer.
- DO speak with an employment lawyer first.
It’s not uncommon for employees to endure an unfair work situation for months or even years. Unfortunately, the longer you continue to work in that environment without pushing back, the more grounds your employer has to claim that you implicitly agreed to the conditions by staying in the position. This doesn’t mean you need to quit the same day that your role changes, but it does mean that you should actively look into what your best options are.
In Alberta, if your employer changes the terms of your employment without your agreement, you have up to two years to make a claim or you lose your right to do so forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines, or other circumstances that may affect the deadline or your claim. If you have any questions about the limitation period for your claim, call or email us for a free consultation with one of our Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyers today.
Our Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyers are here for you.
It’s not possible to cover all workplace scenarios in a single article. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to a Calgary employment lawyer to understand your rights and any risks, ideally before you make any life-changing decisions. At Litco Law, it won’t cost you anything to speak with a Calgary Constructive Dismissal Lawyer. We are generous with our time and knowledge. The metre isn’t running, the clock isn’t ticking. Call or email us today, or send us a message in the chat. You’ll always hear back from us within 24 hours during the week. And if you do choose us, we don’t get paid until you get paid. You get a team that is standing by, ready to help. And a lawyer that’s ready balance the power, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.