Often companies are forced to make significant changes that may negatively impact some of their employees. Sometimes the changes an employer forces upon their employees can be severe enough to cause the employee to quit and look for new employment. This blog post looks at what a constructive dismissal is and some tips for pursuing a constructive dismissal case against your employer.
1. What Is A Constructive Dismissal?
A constructive dismissal can refer to any situation where an employer makes significant changes to the contract of an employee without the employee’s consent. Significant changes can be classified as severe changes in pay, changes in working conditions or changes in status or duty. If you as an employee feel that the changes are unjust or cause negative changes in the way you work, you have the option of pursuing a constructive dismissal suit to reclaim damages.
What makes constructive dismissals different from other types of dismissals is only the employee can initiate constructive dismissals. When significant changes are made, the employee has the options of accepting the changes and continuing to work or to fight the changes under the grounds of a constructive dismissal.
In order to be recognized in the court of law, constructive dismissals must meet two conditions. First, the employer’s conduct must be considered a breach of the employment contract. Secondly, the employer’s behavior must be found to change the overall contract substantially. As you go through the constructive dismissal process, these are two footnotes you’ll have to prove.
2. Consult With A Lawyer
Consulting with an employment lawyer gives you the best chances to prove your side of the story in court. Consulting with a lawyer can prevent you from pursuing a pointless case or help you get the biggest settlement if your case looks like a win. The laws surrounding employment are found in many different statues and come with precedence based on common law. You’ll need a quality lawyer to help you understand which statutory and common law principles apply to your situation and how to best approach your case.
One of the most important parts of consulting with a lawyer is constructing your case. It’s super important you keep all documents related to your situation organized and ready to use at a moments notice. It’s also helpful to make copies of the essential documents just in case something gets lost. The more information you have about your situation in writing, the easier it will be for your lawyer to craft a solid case.
3. Don’t Stop Looking For A New Job
Continuing your search for employment is an important part of successfully pursuing a constructive dismissal case. There is a legal premise in the laws that surround constructive dismissals that state the employee needs to do everything they possibly can to mitigate their losses. If the court determines you haven’t made reasonable efforts to find replacement employment, you’ll be less likely to get the settlement that you feel you deserve.
One of the factors the court will consider will be how reasonable your reaction is to the changes your employer made. If you simply quit, file a constructive dismissal and wait, you’ll be particularly likely to fail in pursuing your case. The court is looking for employees who responded fairly to the changes made by their employee and continued to make efforts to fix situation despite the changes. Continuing to look for a new job and trying to negotiate with your employer are all considered acts of a reasonable employee who deserves compensation.
All in all, the most important part of pursuing a constructive dismissal case is consulting with a lawyer beforehand. Lawyers will help you find out if you have a chance and prevent you from spending thousands on a case where you’re not going to win.