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Employment Law Claims: Is A Lawsuit Worth It?

Employment Law Claims: Is A Lawsuit Worth It?


Understanding Wrongful Dismissal Claims in Grey and Bruce County

When an employer acts badly, really badly

• A Grey County employer spreads vicious sexual rumours about one of its managers. We sue for defamation and punitive damages.

• A Bruce County employer fires a manager for bogus “just cause”, makes up lies about her out of thin air and pays zero severance. We sue for punitive damages.

• A Collingwood employer fires a 37 year employee and offers peanuts for severance, hoping he does not do anything about it. Well, we do “do something about it”: We sue for wrongful dismissal and the employer caves and does the right thing.

These are but a handful of the wrongful dismissal cases which our firm has handled over the years. In some cases, we obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. In other cases, the number is smaller. But regardless, the employee has stood up for herself and has at least part of her dignity restored. If you have been fired unfairly, call or email me and let’s talk about what might be fair.

 

It’s almost like a divorce

If you think about it, you may have spent more time at work than at home. Over time, your colleagues may have become an extended family. You may well have had a manager you have confided in as though she was a sister. That is the nature of the beast – if you love your job, it becomes a second family. Besides a pay cheque, your job provides worth and meaning in life.

So when you are fired, in the words of many clients, it almost feels like a divorce. It hits many people very hard. The courts have acknowledged this. Repeatedly. You cannot claim extra compensation for simply being fired. But if your employer has fired you in a particularly rude or ignorant manner, you may certainly sue for extra compensation. We do that all the time. If your employer has lied about you at the time you were fired, or set you up for failure, or humiliated you, you have every right to claim damages for mental distress.

 

Does a lawsuit make sense?

Sometimes it simply makes no sense to sue for wrongful dismissal. For instance, short term employees really cannot negotiate much in the way of severance. Also, you cannot sue for your job back. That’s not in the cards. In other words, what is “wrong” in a “wrongful dismissal” lawsuit is not that you were fired but that you were not paid enough of a severance package. And if you are offered a package which falls short of what is fair by a few thousand dollars, you cannot justify suing for that small difference. It just is not worth it.

Finally, if you have another similar replacement job waiting right around the corner, you should grab it – but suing for wrongful dismissal again does not make much sense if you are not out much money. But if you have been a long term employee, if you are up in years, if you believe that a replacement job will be next to impossible to find, then call or email us. We can discuss your options. If you have been treated grossly unfairly, we will sue and that will press for a higher severance, or for a satisfactory court award.