Why Choose Our constructive dismisal Lawyers

We work with employees at all levels, from senior executives to frontline staff.

If you have already resigned or feel pushed towards resignation due to significant changes in your workplace—such as demotions, changes in your compensation, or a worsening work environment—these circumstances may constitute constructive dismissal. We are here to help. Book your consultation call where we’ll review your circumstances before we meet so that we can provide you with legal advice based on your unique situation.

common constructive Dismissal Questions

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Navigating any employment law issue can feel daunting when you’re doing it alone. We’re here to offer you the knowledge and adept guidance with Alberta’s Employment Standards Code. Find more answers in our Knowledge Centre.

A constructive dismissal occurs when an employer breaches an essential obligation in the employment agreement, which effectively terminates the contract. This is referred to as a “repudiatory breach.”

Constructive dismissal takes two forms:

  1. A single unilateral act that breaches an essential term of the employment contract, or
  2. A series of acts taken together that show an intention on the part of the employer to no longer be bound by the employment contract

Assessing constructive dismissal is not black and white but depends significantly on the facts to determine whether it meets the criteria. Minor breaches are not sufficient to claim constructive dismissal.

Examples of unilateral acts on the part of the employer that may indicate a constructive dismissal include:

  • a demotion
  • a change in remuneration
  • a change in responsibility or seniority
  • a change in work location

An example of a series of acts taken together to evidence an intention on the part of the employer to no longer be bound to the employment agreement would be the existence of a poisoned work environment. Over time, the poisoned work environment could constitute a repudiatory breach.

There are three options an employee may consider:

  1. Acceptance: The employee does not reject the new terms, continues working and may accept the change in the terms of their employment, either expressly or implicitly through acquiescence, in which case the employment continues under the altered terms. The employee may have the option in this case to sue for the reduction in income or the value of benefits as damages.The employee must indicate to his or her employer within a reasonable time (often up to three months) whether they accept the change to their employment, the repudiatory breach, or not.
  2. Rejection and return to previous employment arrangement: The employee may reject the change within a reasonable amount of time and await the employer’s response, which could be termination with proper notice and an offer of re-employment, if it chooses, on the new terms. If the employer does not do this and allows the employee to continue working under the original employment contract, then the employer will be said to have accepted the employee’s original position.
  3. Rejection and constructive dismissal claim: The employee may reject the change within a reasonable amount of time and sue for damages if the employer insists on continuing to treat the relationship as subject to the change. This is termed a “constructive dismissal”.

As in any wrongful dismissal case, the employee must minimize their damages in the case of an alleged constructive dismissal by looking for new employment.

Working through a constructive dismissal situation can be difficult for employees. The employer and employee may disagree as to what constitutes constructive dismissal. Thus, an employee is often left in an unenviable situation of staying in their employment and accepting the change or leaving their employment and claiming constructive dismissal.

Once before the court, the employee bears the burden of proving they were in fact constructively dismissed. A successful case may award reasonable notice damages and some costs to the employee. But an unsuccessful case could leave the employee out of their job, with legal costs and no reasonable notice damages.

If you’re considering a claim of constructive dismissal, our employment lawyers can help with a careful risk/benefit analysis to determine how strong your case is and what the best next step would be for your particular situation.

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Brenda

Competent, Confident, Reasonable, Personable, Expedient, Understanding, Compassionate and a Knowledgeable Lawyer. Mike Cashion listened, empathized, advised, defended and obtained a successful result. You corrected an unfair situation. Thank you so much!

Randy

Mike did an excellent job settling my unique employment matters in a very timely and professional fashion! I highly recommend him for your legal needs! Thanks Mike!

Sheryl

[We] were so impressed with Mike’s professionalism, honesty and compassion. He was always very responsive and transparent throughout the whole process and provided solid advice. I highly recommend Mike to anyone needing advice with an employer concern and would hire him again if required! Mike is a true caring professional.

Jay

Michael Cashion was the best lawyer I could have hoped for. He always took the time I needed to understand every step of the process completely. His research was complete and thorough and he helped me to have a pleasant experience and outcome.

ACBS Accounting

He was very professional, compassionate and supportive. After hearing me out, he patiently explained the pros and cons of my case and my options to decide. His fees were reasonable and fully explained based on the legal options that I chose to pursue. My case was concluded to my satisfaction and peace of mind after two months of consultation with Mike. I highly recommend Mike and his firm. They are professional, knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.

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Frequently asked questions about constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer makes fundamental changes to your employment contract or creates a hostile work environment that forces you to resign. By consulting with a lawyer, you can gain a clear understanding of your rights in the specific circumstances you are facing. They can explain the legal concept of constructive dismissal and help you assess whether your situation meets the necessary criteria. Constructive dismissal cases can be complex and require a thorough analysis of the facts and evidence. A lawyer experienced in employment law can review your case, assess the strength of your claims, and provide an objective evaluation of the potential outcomes. They can help you understand the legal standards that need to be met to prove constructive dismissal and advise you on the viability of pursuing legal action.

It is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as you think you have been constructively dismissed. Any delay in responding to your employer’s conduct may be construed as consenting to the conduct.

Constructive dismissal consultations reviews can generally be completed within a week. Subject to our availability.

Our standard fee for constructive dismissal consultations is $425, plus GST, although the fee may be higher if the facts of your case are particularly complicated. This fee includes reviewing of all materials provided in advance of the consultation, reviewing relevant precedents, attending the consultation, and answering follow up questions you have after the consultation.

Demotions or salary reductions can constitute constructive dismissal, where an employee can resign and sue for severance as if the employee was dismissed. In these situations, it’s important to speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible.

If an employer is asking you to sign anything, speak with an employment lawyer.
You are always entitled to seek legal advice as it relates to your relationship with your employer.

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Worried about high legal costs? We have a solution.

We offer flat-fee pricing on our constructive dismissal legal services so that you have certainty in how much it will cost to move forward. That’s just one of the many ways we offer clarity at a time of uncertainty.

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Compassion

We care about our clients.


We know that facing any type of workplace issue is difficult, so we offer professional guidance with empathy and compassion.

Clarity

We bring clarity to the unknown.


We know that workplace issues are full of uncertainty, so we bring clarity to your situation, options, and costs whenever possible.

Advocacy

We believe in employee rights.


All individuals deserve fairness, respect, and dignity in the workplace, so we advocate for you and seek a fair outcome for your situation.

what we do

Unsure of your rights after a constructive dismissal?
Struggling with a how to proceed legally?

We can help.

Wrongful Dismissal

When an individual’s employment is terminated without cause and without reasonable notice.

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Constructive Dismissal

When an employer breaches an essential obligation that is imposed by the employment agreement.

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Workplace Discrimination

When an employee experiences discriminatory treatment based on factors such as race, gender, or disability.

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Severance Packages

When an employer offers payment and benefits upon termination while also requiring signature on a release.

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Workplace Harassment

Failure of an employer or a co-worker to treat an employee with civility, decency, and respect.

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Non-Compete Clauses

An employer’s attempt to protect the business and limit an employee’s ability to work with a competitor.

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Termination for Cause

When an employee is terminated without notice or pay in lieu due to an act of serious misconduct.

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Contact us

Sometimes, you just need to take the next step.

If you’ve been struggling with a workplace issue, you’re in the right place and we’re here to help. Booking a consultation is the first step.