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Alberta Wrongful Dismissal Settlements

Alberta Wrongful Dismissal Settlements

Coping with Covid-19 has been difficult in every sector. The financial sector has taken the second biggest hit after the health sector. Many lost their jobs. While some may have seen this coming, some were dismissed wrongfully. This is a common problem even before Covid-19.

Whatever the case, wrongful dismissal is not a pleasant situation. It is usually seen in companies where the relationship between an employee and employer is strained.

If you find yourself in such situations, what should you do? You can seek justice. For example, if you are in Alberta, find out about Alberta wrongful dismissal settlements. Or, you can have a look at this article, where we will try to find out a solution for the victims.

But before that, you need to remember that we are talking about wrongful termination. Not all dismissal is illegal. Below you will find out what wrongful dismissal is.

 

What is Wrongful Dismissal? And How is It Different from At-Will Employment Termination?

In general, an employee has a right to fire the worker under him within the law. But it is wrongful dismissal when someone dismisses a worker with the wrong motive or without following the contract.

Statistics say there is an average of 26 thousand lawsuits per year for unjustified dismissal in Canada. In fact, 9 out of 10 lawsuits are won by the worker. The picture is not different in Alberta either.

Let me explain with an example.

The employer can terminate an employee for several reasons. The situations can be anything legal and logical and within the contract. Such as:

  • Absence of three days in a month without justification or permission from the employer to the workplace;
  • Delivering false documentation to certify skills for the position held;
  • Damaging or stealing the important property of the company;
  • Working under the influence of alcohol or drug (or even possession);
  • Not cooperating in the workplace;
  • Misconducting of any kind ( rude behavior, sexual harassment, physical assault, or verbal abuse)
  • There are technical, organizational, and production reasons that determine the need to eliminate a job.
  • Misusing company property or using for personal need without permission;
  • Violation of the company’s policy.

These are some of the examples where the company can fire you without explanation. If the reason for the termination of the employment is nothing like this, it may be a case of wrongful termination.

Let’s talk about those reasons in the next section.

 

In Which Cases Will It Be Wrongful Termination?

In the absence of a valid and effective reason or of a guilty behavior of the employee, the dismissal is void. There is no logical or ethical reason, an employee just can’t fire someone. They must have to pay the severance amount.

 

The Dismissal Occurs for Discriminatory Reasons

For example, you can’t fire someone because she is pregnant. Or, if someone belongs to a specific trade union, there is no reason to fire. Like this, you can’t fire someone base on their race, gender, or sexual preference.

 

The Dismissal Due to Company Need Which is Not True

This is the cause most used by employers. In such cases, you can sue them if:

  • If they hire someone else within a short time in the same position;
  • If they can’t justify the situation of the termination.

The Dismissal Due to Minor Disciplinary Event

The disciplinary offense that is not so serious should not result in the sanction of dismissal. Usually, there are other steps to take before termination. The worker should be given the opportunity to defend

 

If The Employer Cheats the Worker in Any Way

If the employee feels cheated in anyways regarding the condition of the job, the termination has a chance to appeal.

 

Termination Due to False Accusations

Some false accusations can be missing the job, theft, violent and immoral behavior, or insults. For example, if your employer alleges that you verbally threatened him and this never happened. These facts must be proven. IF they are insulted, the employer could be sued.

 

If The Employer Misbehaves

Sometimes the employer or any of its representatives may commit acts of violence, threats or harassment of any kind. This can happen against the worker within or outside of the service. If the worker is sacked due to this reason, they have the right to ask for compensation.

 

The Termination Due to Damages Caused by the Company or Its Representatives

This point can be discussed in two ways. First, no company can discriminate against your physical disabilities unless the job requires it. Secondly, suppose the damage is done by the company or in the company. In that case, they have no right to terminate you without compensating you.

 

When It Has a Toll on Your Dignity

In the event of termination, when the acts undermine the worker’s dignity, you can sue and get compensation.

According to law, the employer must pay the severance pay for unjustified dismissal in all these situations.

 

What Can I Do in Case of Unjustified Dismissal?

There are two routes to take in the event of wrongful termination:

  1. Settle out of court
  2. Go to court

The court procedure is lengthy and expensive. It can take months or years. You may not understand, but the expenses and the time can take a huge toll on your personal life.

That is why; you can seek help to solve the problem outside the court. Even if it is clear that you’ve been wrongfully terminated, we recommend the out-of-court settlement.

 

Notify the Employer

Notify your employer that you feel the termination was wrongful, and you seek justice. You can ask for a written statement or have a face-to-face conversation. The company must reply within 15 days.

Have a conversation. Listen to their side of the story. Sometimes to avoid a lawsuit, companies tend to solve the matter in the beginning.

 

Seek a Mediator

If notifying and communicating with the employer doesn’t work, this is the time to hire professional help. Hire a mediator who will observe the situation and offer a solution. However, there is no legal binding to follow his opinion. It’s not an order; it’s just an option for you to solve the case.

 

Arbitration

This step is the same as mediation. But in this case, both the parties have to agree to the order.

 

How To File a Wrongful Dismissal Claim in Alberta?

File a Request to The Labor Program Officer

If you go to the Labor Inspection, you must follow the following process:

  • First, you file an application for wrongful termination against the employer.
  • The Labor Inspectorate will summon both the employer and the employee to a conciliation meeting. Here both parties are expected to reach an agreement.

Many times an agreement is reached, and the employer pays the corresponding covers to the employee. This can be a good solution to avoid going to court.

Under the law, the employee has 90 days to file a claim for wrongful termination. In this time, the conciliation time is included where an agreement is sought from both parties.

 

A Direct Lawsuit in The Court

In the event of no agreement, the lawsuit is filed for unjustified dismissal.

For this, you must hire a lawyer to represent you. Your lawyer will file a case on your behalf. He will notify the employer too. Then, the court gives a hearing date. On the date, both the attorneys representing you and the other party will try to conclude.

If this is also unsuccessful, the case will go to a trial hearing. And after hearing both the parties and seeing the evidence, the court will give its verdict.

 

How are Wrongful Termination Settlements Calculated?

Wrongful termination is not something to take lightly. There are cases where millions of dollars have been paid to the sufferers. We are not saying every case has the same result. But it is a war worth fighting for.

To calculate the settlement, there are a few factors that you need to take into account:

  • Employee salary, which refers to the annual gross salary.
  • The seniority of the worker within the company. Obviously, longer seniority will mean that the compensation will also be higher.
  • Type of dismissal. An objective dismissal is not the same as unfair dismissal. Therefore, the compensation in these two cases will be different.

 

What is the Average Payout for Wrongful Termination?

There is a common question we often hear. What is the average settlement for wrongful termination? Unfortunately, there is no exact amount precisely that we can tell. Each case is different, and so is the settlement amount.

The average payout can vary from 5,000 CAD to 80,000 CAD. There was a case where the employee got a compensation of 115,000 CAD for wrongful termination.

But this payout amount depends on several things, such as:

 

Loss of Income

The first setback after losing a job is the loss of income. While calculating the settlement amount for wrongful dismissal, keep the loss of wage in mind. That means, here, we will consider your wage loss from the day you were terminated to date.

If you were supposed to get a promotion, i.e. income growth, this factor would be considered. Also, it would be best if you found a similar job that can keep your lifestyle unchanged. So finding a job will cost you something. So add this to the compensation package too.

 

Loss of Benefits

It is essential to overcome the economic damages. Loss of benefits occupies a huge part of the compensation package. These are the benefits you were supposed to have when you have the job.

  • The retirement savings plans
  • Health care benefits
  • Transportation benefits etc.

 

Emotional Suffering / Pain and Suffering

This is a part that is often misunderstood, but it has a great amount of importance. Emotional distress not only hampers the mental state of the employee but also other aspects of life too. Especially if the employee is terminated due to harassment, it can cause long-lasting trauma.

So, when compensating for the loss of the employee, keep this in mind.

 

Medical Benefits

It may happen that when losing the job, the employees’ medical insurance was changed or even denied. The company is bound to compensate for that too.

 

Other Benefits

There are some additional benefits that you should consider before calculating the compensation. The strain on your dignity, personal vindication- everything should be compensated. The discrimination or the false accusation is also subjected to your additional damages.

 

Is Wrongful Termination Hard to Prove?

Okay, so here’s a practical question. The importance of proving the wrongful termination is beyond description. But how hard is it to prove?

The first thing this case will need you to prove your employer’s unlawful motive. Don’t be naïve; they will try everything in their power to make the termination look legit. So, you will have a hard time proving your innocence.

So, there are some precautions and steps you can take:

Circumstantial Evidence

Like we said in the previous section, the employer or the company would try to mask their real motive. So, only circumstantial evidence can prove the misconduct in your case. Let me give an example:

Suppose your employer has an issue with the Hispanic worker or female worker. If he discriminates against only you instead of other people, you can prove the injustice here.

So, there will be a case if a Hispanic and other non-Hispanic people show some late appearances, and only you get fired. But the circumstantial evidence is weak. But if there are five people and only you got fired- it can be a strong case against your company.

 

Evidence Against the Employer of False Accusation

You can have a strong case to prove that the employer was lying and falsely accused you and terminated you. For example- suppose the manager fires you of harassment of another worker. But if the worker and you both testifies that the accusation is false, you can sue the employer.

But remember, not always will you have these kinds of proof or witnesses. Even if you have, there’s no guarantee that the witness will testify against the employers. So, you need some strong evidence and actions to prove him guilty.

 

The Incomplete Investigation

There is another way to prove your company’s discrimination: incomplete investigation. Or sometimes, they don’t even conduct any investigation at all. So, you and your attorney can prove that the company never led any investigation, and you were denied your right.

These factors have an essential role in getting you justice in case of wrongful dismissal settlement. Of course, not all cases are challenging to prove. Some of them are open and shut cases, where others can be a little challenging. Especially if you are fighting against big companies, you will have to fight tooth and nail.

 

 Some Preliminary Considerations

Keep in mind that, before starting any dismissal procedure, it is necessary to be clear about the type of dismissal. Discuss the verifiable causes that have led to this decision to terminate your employment contract.

On the company’s part, a certain process is necessary to communicate to the employee as clearly as possible. And, above all, there must be witnesses at the time of communication. Not only for the possible reaction but to attest to what has happened for legal purposes.

It never hurts to add as many positive evaluations as possible to this communication to avoid adverse reactions. Finally, the employee must be given all the documentation that he may need after the dismissal.

And, above all else, try to make this farewell as respectful as possible: you must feel that the company feels true gratitude for the service provided.

 

Consult an Expert

The cases against your employer can be very tricky and complicated. As we said, if you are up against big companies, they will lawyer up and try everything to get rid of you. So, if you suspect that you are wrongfully terminated, we recommend consulting a professional help in Alberta.

A professional lawyer will not only help you get the compensation you deserve but also protect you from further damages. In addition, as he knows and has faced cases similar to yours, he will be able to predict the other party’s move.

Also, if you plan on taking a new job, let your attorney check the employment contract. He will check the clauses and find out if there is any point that might be inconvenient to you in the future. Before signing the contract, review it with the lawyer and negotiate if possible.

 

Final Verdict

Losing a job is stressful, and if it is wrongful termination, it can take a toll on your life. You are entitled to get compensated for your loss. So, if you are seeking Alberta wrongful dismissal settlements, do not hesitate to consult us. We are an experienced team that promises to protect your rights.

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