Employment Contracts and Job Offers

A job offer whether written or oral will become an employment contract if the job offer is accepted. Everyone who has a job has an employment contract. 

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Termination Without Cause

Termination of employment in Ontario can occur in two different ways: (i) termination without cause; or (ii) termination for cause. 

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Termination for Cause

Being terminated for cause has been described as the capital punishment crime of employment law.1 Sometimes referred to as termination for just cause, the employee is not provided with notice of dismissal or a severance package.

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Wrongful Dismissal

A wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer either: (i) terminates an employee without cause but fails to provide the employee with sufficient notice of dismissal; or (ii) terminates an employee for cause

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Constructive Dismissal

A constructive dismissal is defined as follows: if an employer makes a substantial change to the terms of an employee’s employment without the employee’s consent or demonstrates an intention to not longer be bound..

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The Duty to Mitigate

The duty to mitigate requires a plaintiff who has suffered a loss as a result of a defendant’s breach of contract to take reasonable steps to lessen or alleviate that loss.

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Moral Damages

Termination of employment can be emotionally devastating. However, a dismissed employee is not entitled to receive moral damages for mental distress that he or she may suffer as a result of the dismissal.

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Punitive Damages

The objective of the court in a civil action (such as a wrongful dismissal action) is to compensate the plaintiff for his or her loss. It is normally not to punish the defendant. 
 

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