Constructive Dismissal vs. Wrongful Dismissal

May 16, 2022

Employers and employees always enter into an employment agreement with the hope of a long and prosperous working relationship, however, these relationships sometimes come to an end for various reasons. When an employer terminates an employee’s employment they can do so with or without cause. Termination with cause alleged should be reserved for the most egregious cases of wrongdoing, as a cause termination has been referred to as the “capital punishment” of employment law because the employee does not receive a severance package.  A wrongful dismissal case is one where an employee is seeking damages stemming from the termination of their employment, usually in the form of a severance package.

Unlike a wrongful dismissal case where it is very clear that a termination transpired, constructive dismissal cases are more nuanced and dependent on the individual circumstances. A constructive dismissal occurs when an employer fundamentally alters the employee’s employment conditions to their detriment, to such an extent that it can be said that the employer has effectively ended the employment relationship.  Some examples of constructive dismissals include significant changes to an employee’s job duties, compensation or work environment.  In such a scenario, the employee can assert that they have been constructively dismissed and seek damages for the constructive termination of their employment, also usually in the form of a severance package.

Employers and employees alike should take care to understand their rights and responsibilities with respect to both wrongful and constructive dismissal cases.  We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you in terms of constructive dismissal or wrongful dismissal, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.


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