Losing employment is never easy, even at the best of times. Especially during a pandemic, losing your job can be doubly challenging as job prospects are minimal and financial demands are high.
Add to that the burden of wrongful dismissal – the belief that you were fired unfairly, perhaps illegally – and the whole experience can start to feel a little hopeless. What recourse do you have to fair compensation? What steps can you take (and what steps should you avoid) to ensure that your case has the best chance possible?
In this emotionally, mentally and financially trying time, it can be easy to slip up, check out or give up. Don’t give your employer the satisfaction of getting away with wrongful dismissal. If you feel that you have been wrongfully let go from work, there are actionable steps you can do to help bolster your case and receive the compensation you deserve. From finding the right wrongful dismissal lawyer in Toronto to gathering evidence, here are the first steps to take.
Remember: Cooler Heads Prevail
In the minutes, hours and days following your dismissal, your brain will run through a gamut of emotions. One such common emotion is anger. It’s natural: after all, you believe you are being treated unfairly.
But, whatever you do, do not externalize that anger. Whatever impulse you have toward “retribution” (sending a nasty email, pocketing work supplies, breaking things, telling your superiors off, etc.) needs to be suppressed. Not only can these retributive actions result in lawsuits against you, but they may hurt your eventual wrongful dismissal case.
If you are angry, channel that anger into action and proceed with the following steps.
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Review, Request and Inquire
Your first course of preparatory action can be broken down into three categories: review, request, and inquire. Let’s take a closer look at each:
- Review: Familiarize yourself with the provisions of your employment agreement. In particular, review the termination clause in your agreement to determine if the dismissal adheres. You may also review the termination package your employer gives you; however, until you have spoken with an employment lawyer, do not sign anything.
- Request: If possible, ask for a copy of your employee personnel file. If you feel your case relies on eyewitness accounts (of misconduct, harassment, reprisal threats, etc.) from peers, request their written statements.
- Inquire: Ask questions. For what reason are you being dismissed? Whose decision was it to terminate you?
Concurrently with the above actions, take the next and final step.
Contact an Employment Lawyer
An excellent employment lawyer will be your guide, advocate and empowerment throughout this process. Find a hard-working, professional firm with experience in labour law and employment-related issues. A great employment lawyer will work with you to understand the details surrounding your dismissal and whether you qualify for an Employee Standards Act (ESA) minimum entitlement or the more generous “common law” payout.
You don’t have to go it alone. If you feel that you have been wrongfully dismissed, just follow these three simple steps. Remain calm, cool and collected. Gather what evidence you can. And enlist the help of a quality employment lawyer in Toronto.
Header Credit: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels