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When Should You Hire an Employment Lawyer for Wrongful Dismissal in Canada?

In Canada, wrongful dismissal can be a complex legal matter that requires careful consideration and often legal guidance. As an employee facing termination, understanding when to seek the assistance of an employment lawyer is crucial. Here are some key indicators to help you determine if hiring legal representation is necessary.

Understanding Wrongful Dismissal 

Before exploring the need for legal assistance, it’s essential to grasp what constitutes wrongful dismissal in Canada. Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer terminates an employee without just cause or without providing reasonable notice or compensation in lieu of notice as required by employment standards or the employment contract. 

Evaluation of Circumstances 

Assessing the circumstances surrounding your termination is the first step in determining whether you may have a case for wrongful dismissal. If you believe your termination was unjust or if you were not provided with proper notice or severance pay, seeking legal advice is prudent. 

Interpretation of Employment Contract 

Reviewing your employment contract is vital in understanding your rights and obligations. An employment lawyer can help interpret the terms of your contract to determine if your employer violated any provisions or failed to fulfill its obligations, which could constitute wrongful dismissal. 

Recognition of Legal Rights 

Employees in Canada have certain legal rights regarding termination, including entitlement to reasonable notice or severance pay based on various factors such as length of service, position, and industry standards. If you feel your rights have been infringed upon, consulting with an employment lawyer can clarify your legal standing. 

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Consideration of Severance Offer 

If your employer offers you a severance package upon termination, it’s crucial to carefully review the terms and seek legal advice before accepting. An employment lawyer can assess whether the offered amount is fair and equitable based on your circumstances and applicable legal standards. 

Understanding Legal Process 

Navigating the legal process can be daunting without proper guidance. An experienced employment lawyer can provide valuable insights into the steps involved in pursuing a wrongful dismissal claim, including filing a complaint with the relevant employment standards authority or pursuing legal action through the courts. 

Assessment of Potential Damages 

Calculating potential damages resulting from wrongful dismissal requires an understanding of various factors such as lost wages, benefits, and the emotional distress caused by the termination. An employment lawyer can conduct a thorough assessment to determine the compensation you may be entitled to pursue. 

Time Constraints 

In Canada, there are strict time limits for filing wrongful dismissal claims, typically within two years of the termination date. Therefore, it’s essential to act promptly to preserve your legal rights. Consulting with an employment lawyer early on can ensure you meet crucial deadlines and take appropriate action within the prescribed time frame. 


Understanding and navigating a wrongful dismissal claim in Canada can be complex and challenging, particularly without legal expertise. If you find yourself facing termination and suspecting wrongful dismissal, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. They can provide valuable guidance, assess the merits of your case, and help you pursue appropriate legal remedies to protect your rights and interests. Remember, timely action and informed decision-making are key to achieving a favorable outcome in such situations.

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