Wrongful Dismissal: The Employer Empathy Gap
If you were to google what the most stressful life events are, they (unscientifically) 1) death of a loved one 2) divorce and 3) getting fired. Studies have shown that going through such a stressful event can age your brain by 4 years: https://globalnews.ca/news/3603629/major-stresses-like-divorce-and-getting-fired-can-age-your-brain-by-4-years/ . The Supreme Court of Canada has recently reiterated that work is an essential part of employees' identities.
While most employers are at least sympathetic when staff go through the first two events, employers are the CAUSE of the last one. Too many fire employees haphazardly, with no careful thought as to the effect on the employee. They constructively dismiss, terminate, allege cause, threaten to assert restrictive covenants, walk people out the door, and employ the infamous lowball offer: https://www.flodenward.com/post/wrongful-dismissal-in-alberta-the-art-of-the-lowball-offer .
While these tactics are sometimes successful, they are create an unnecessary antagonism between the parties, who will often end up digging in their heels for a costly lawsuit. Practical advice is to be fair, pay a fair amount and try to be reasonable to people.
Many employers display an empathy gap to the emotional turmoil they are plunging their employees into, and that in turn leads directly to lawsuits. If employers would just imagine themselves in the shoes of their employees, they would likely take a different approach to firings.
If you have been wrongfully dismissed, or if you are an employer wishing to learn how to terminate someone in a more empathetic and fair manner, please feel free to contact us.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.