Employment is a contract between employer and employee. When an employer unilaterally makes a fundamental change to an employment contract, violates an essential term of an employment contract, or acts in such a way as to create a hostile working environment, the employee may have been constructively dismissed.
Constructive dismissal is different from wrongful dismissal because the employer has not formally terminated one’s employment. However, given the detrimental changes imposed on the employee – such as a demotion, alteration of working conditions or job description, or significant relocation, for example – the employee may be able to claim they have effectively been terminated. Constructive dismissal gives rise to an employee’s right to reasonable notice and severance as if they had been terminated.
In these circumstances, an employee may decide to accept the employer’s changes to their contract and continue working; refuse them in protest but continue working; or refuse them and leave the workplace to make a constructive dismissal claim against their employer.
It is not always clear if a constructive dismissal has occurred. That is why it is important to seek experienced legal counsel. At Wray Legal LLP, we have extensive experience consulting with and representing employees in a variety of workplace situations that amount to constructive dismissal—at all levels of employment and across different sectors and industries. We take the time to understand your situation and goals, assess and evaluate your case, and provide strategic advice regarding your best options to proceed. Contact us today to see how we can help.