Constructive dismissal is a form of wrongful dismissal in Ontario. It occurs when an employer makes a fundamental change to an employee’s terms of employment without the employee’s consent. This can include a significant decrease in pay, a change in job duties, a demotion, or a change in work location. The employer must also have intended to force the employee to accept the change or to terminate the employment relationship.
To make a successful claim for constructive dismissal, the employee must prove that the employer’s actions were unreasonable and that the employee had no choice but to accept the change or leave the job. An employee can also make a claim for constructive dismissal if the employer failed to take reasonable steps to prevent or address a situation in the workplace that the employee found intolerable.
Employees who have been constructively dismissed in Ontario may be eligible for severance pay and other entitlements, such as vacation pay, or may be able to seek damages for lost wages and other losses.