Damages arising from wrongful dismissal or constructive dismissal can include compensation for the loss of:

  • Salary (including raises that otherwise would have been received during the notice period);
  • Commissions;
  • Bonuses;
  • Automobile;
  • Pension;
  • Group insurance benefits; and
  • Shares or share options.

Bonuses and share options are often governed by the wording of bonus and share option plans, which on first reading may appear to prevent recovery for the loss of such benefits.  However that restrictive wording may not be effective to prevent recovery.  An employee will need legal advice to determine whether the loss of such benefits is recoverable.

An employee may also be entitled to damages for an employer’s bad faith in the manner of termination and/or to punitive damages for conduct that is so callous and high handed as to be deserving of punishment. Recently damages of $450,000 and more have been obtained.  An employee will need legal advice to determine whether these types of damages apply to their situation.

As an alternative to damages for breach of the employment contract an employee may be entitled to damages for misrepresentation by untrue statements made to the employee prior to the commencement of employment as to the nature or permanency of the position or the company’s financial position or future plans.  In termination of employment situations where the employee has a contract which limits notice on termination of employment. I have successfully used a claim for damages for negligent misrepresentation to avoid the limitations of the employment contract and obtain damages far in excess of the contract termination provisions.

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