Labour and Employment

Wrongful Dismissal – What Does It Mean?

Types of Wrongful Dismissal Claims

If you or someone you know has experienced a wrongful dismissal, our lawyers are here to help. We fight hard to ensure that our clients receive full compensation. Our preference and strategy is to try to negotiate a settlement without litigation. This is often possible, and matters can resolve very quickly, sometimes within a few weeks. Where litigation is necessary, however, we are strong and efficient, and we are widely respected by the legal community for our fierce advocacy and our refusal to back down.

Generally speaking, there are three types of wrongful dismissal claims:

  • Where an employer terminates employment without cause, but refuses to pay adequate compensation.
  • Where an employer inappropriately alleges cause and fails to pay any compensation.
  • Where an employer, by altering fundamental terms and conditions of employment and/or by making the work environment intolerable, “constructively” dismisses an employee.

Common Misconception

A wrongful dismissal claim doesn't occur merely because your former employer terminated you for an illegitimate or invalid reason. For instance, your employer may have told you that you were terminated due to the company's poor financial situation, when in fact the balance sheet is quite healthy. While a company shouldn't lie about why they terminated you, there is no legal requirement for them to be "honest" about the reason given. So long as proper severance is paid, they do not have to be honest about their decision.

Your Entitlements

In all cases, a dismissed employee is entitled to pursue his or her legal entitlements. It is especially difficult for employers to establish “cause,” as it is considered the "capital punishment" of the employment relationship. If your employment was terminated for cause, speak to us; it is very likely that you are entitled to compensation. If you believe you are being “constructively” dismissed, it is very important to seek legal advice before you resign from employment or do something inadvisable to antagonize your employer or undermine your position.

For more information, have a look at some of our articles and blog posts:

Wrongful Dismissal: When Employment is Terminated for Cause

Non-Unionized Federal Workers Protected from Arbitrary Dismissal

What you Need to Know about Temporary Layoffs in Ontario

Find more information about wrongful dismissals by listening to the content below:

Watch Lior Samfiru weigh in on a controversial wrongful dismissal in Ontario:

Labour and Employment Team

Lior Samfiru

Lior Samfiru


Charles (Chuck) D. Tahirali

Charles (Chuck) D. Tahirali

Senior HR Consultant

Jennifer Corbett

Jennifer Corbett