Ridout Barron


How do I know if I was wrongfully dismissed?

Determining whether or not wrongful dismissal occurred often boils down to whether there was "cause" for the firing. If there was cause for the firing, then employees do not need to receive prior notice or severance pay. If there was not cause -- or the employer did not have a reason for firing the employee -- then the employer has to either give the employee sufficient notice before termination or offer the employee severance pay.

No prior notice and no severance pay are required if the following causes can be proven:

-- The employee committed an illegal act like stealing, being violent or damaging property

-- Being insubordinate, .i.e., refusing to complete job tasks assigned

-- Sexual harassment of coworkers

-- Regular tardiness

-- Fraud

-- Lying about job qualifications

Cause for termination usually needs to be a major occurrence. Minor occurrences are not sufficient cause. Examples of insufficient cause for firing include

-- An employer not liking the employee

-- An employee having a substandard work product but the employee does not correct the issue

-- A minor mistake made by the employee that is later corrected

-- Any form of discrimination against the employee

Alberta residents depend on their jobs to put food on their families' tables. That's why, when someone is fired from his or her job, he or she might want to pursue a legal claim for wrongful termination. If successfully navigated, this kind of a claim could help a wrongfully terminated employee get his or her job back. At the very least, it could help the person get financial compensation for lost wages and other damages.

Source: FindLaw, "What is wrongful dismissal?," accessed Jan. 01, 2016

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Ridout Barron
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