What Is A Wrongful Dismissal?

Losing a job is never easy. The feeling of finding oneself in a situation like that can be both terrifying and overwhelming. As such, it is important to know your legal rights so that you may take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.

It is important to note that a dismissal is not wrongful simply because an employee believes that they should not have been terminated. There must be a legal basis for claiming that a wrongful dismissal occurred.

Types of Termination

  1. Dismissal With Cause
  • A dismissal with cause may include a termination based on an employee’s misconduct. If the employer makes a dismissal with proper cause, the Employer is not required to give notice or pay-in-lieu of notice.
  • However, if an employer claims that the termination was with cause, they must provide proof of the reason for termination to justify the dismissal. The Employer simply stating that the dismissal was for cause will typically not suffice.
  1. Dismissal Without Cause
  • A dismissal without cause requires the employer to provide reasonable notice or pay-in-lieu of notice. This notice period is determined by several factors including time worked with the employer, age of the employee, and the availability of finding comparable employment.
  1. Constructive Dismissal
  • Constructive dismissal may be found when the employment is not terminated but severe changes to the terms of employment are made without the employee’s consent, which led to the employee quitting.
  • Constructive dismissal depends on the facts of the case, however some factors that may show constructive dismissal include changes to the salary, working hours, or duties and responsibilities of the employee.
  • If an employee can show that they have been constructively dismissed, they may be eligible to receive compensation.
  1. Illegal Dismissal
  • An illegal dismissal is a form of unlawful termination that occurs when an employee is terminated for reasons based on their gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other similar protected grounds.
  • If an employee can prove that they have been illegally terminated based on one or more of these grounds, they may be eligible to receive compensation.

What To Do If You Think You Have Been Wrongfully Dismissed

  • Consult an employment lawyer who can review the facts of your case and assist you in determining your options. An employment lawyer may review any severance offers given to help you better understand what you are signing.
  • Document everything. By having documentation, your lawyer will be better able to assess your rights and options moving forward. This includes keeping your employment agreement, any letters from your employer regarding the termination, and your efforts in seeking comparable employment.
  • Mitigate Your Losses. Upon being dismissed, it is typically the employee’s obligation to seek comparable employment to mitigate damages. Failure to seek employment may result in a decreased damages award for the employee.


It is important to know your rights regarding your termination. By consulting with an employment lawyer, you can learn your options, assess any offers given by the employer, and take steps to resolve the issue. If you have been dismissed from your employment and would like to know about your options moving forward, contact Prowse Chowne LLP to book a consultation.