What Protection Do Whistleblowers Have Against Constructive Dismissal?

Against Constructive Dismissal

When workers uncover malpractice in their workplace, it is important that they feel able to speak out without fear of retaliation. As such, laws have been put in place to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. However, even after blowing the whistle, retaliation can still occur in the form of constructive dismissal.

constructive dismissal is a term that refers to situations in which an employer changes essential employment terms so significantly that they make it impossible for the employee to continue working. This can be achieved through a breach of explicit or implied employment terms. For example, a significant reduction in salary or an elimination of benefits can be considered a breach of explicit terms, while a failure to maintain safe work conditions may constitute a breach of implied terms.

Depending on the circumstances, the employee may be entitled to various legal remedies. The most common remedy is severance pay. It is also possible for the employee to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour or take legal action through civil court. If the employer is found to have acted in bad faith, they can be ordered to pay compensatory damages.

What Protection Do Whistleblowers Have Against Constructive Dismissal?

The consequences of constructive dismissal can be severe for employees who have reported misconduct. It can lead to financial hardship, loss of income, alienation and damage to career prospects. In addition, the stress and anxiety associated with retaliation can be extremely damaging to an individual’s mental health. As a result, workers who are subjected to constructive termination may not have the energy or motivation to report misconduct in the future.

While it is a common practice for employers to punish whistleblowers, this behaviour is illegal in many jurisdictions. The US for example, has a number of anti-retaliation laws that protect employees who report on corporate misconduct or violations of federal law. It is also a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to retaliate against employees who report on safety-related issues such as environmental contamination.

In addition to retaliation, whistleblowers can also face a range of other forms of discriminatory treatment in the workplace. This can include a refusal to provide a reference, a negative performance review or the withholding of certain privileges such as vacation days. Having the right legal advice is vital for employees who are dealing with these kinds of issues. An experienced Toronto employment lawyer can help guide them through the process of navigating these complex legal challenges.

If you are a worker who has blown the whistle and feels like your employer is trying to push you out of your job, or you are an employer struggling with business restructuring or needing help preparing employee severance packages, contact Achkar Law for expert advice and representation. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping both employees and employers understand their rights and obligations under Ontario’s employment law. We will be happy to discuss your situation in a free consultation and help you determine the best course of action.

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