Complexities of Constructive Dismissal cases.

Constructive dismissal occurs when there has been a fundamental change to your job.

Your job still exists and the employer still wants you to continue within its employment, but your employer has changed the job.

These changes may include things like a reduction in compensation or a demotion. It could be things like changing your work hours, criticizing your work performance, technological changes, or forced relocation. The employer is saying: Here are the changes that we are making, we expect you to abide by them, and we expect you to continue your employment with us.

An employer does not have the right to make fundamental changes to the terms of employment. However the employer has some right to exercise management discretion and the employee may have an obligation to stay, despite the fact that he may not like the changes.

These are complicated, technical cases. Unless it is a significant change, the relationship is acrimonious or the work demeaning judges are reluctant to say that the employee has a right to leave the employment of an organization. That is why they describe the term constructive dismissal as being a fundamental change to the terms and conditions of employment. The problem lies in assessing exactly what that means.

The more objective constructive dismissal cases involve reductions in compensation, where the reduction is greater than 10-15 percent. That is a relatively straightforward situation. But the more complicated ones are demotions, or unjust criticism of performance within the workplace. Those cases tend to be more subjective and therefore less straightforward.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with employment law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, contact Law Office of Melynda Layton.

This article is taken from an interview on February 26, 2008 with Melynda Layton, Employment Lawyer at Law Office of Melynda Layton , an Ottawa, Ontario Employment Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.