Aggravated Damages in Employment Law

Wrongful Dismissal and Aggravated Damages

Anyone can lose their job. Sometimes, the employer is justified in terminating your employment. But if you were fired without warning and without a significant mistake, you may have been wrongfully dismissed. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation.

Most wrongful dismissal cases are questions of just cause or notice periods. Just cause is a legal term that means you were dismissed for a legally valid reason and proper procedures for that dismissal were followed. If your employer had just cause then the dismissal is not wrongful. When terminating employees without just cause, employers are required to provide reasonable notice. The amount of time required for reasonable notice is based on a whole host of different factors. Employers can either pay that amount of money to compensate for the notice period or give the employee working notice or warning that they are going to be dismissed on a specific date. If there is no just cause and no notice was given then you should seek legal advice on whether you may have been wrongfully dismissed.

In some wrongful dismissal cases, if the employer’s conduct is unfair or is in bad faith in the process of firing you, it’s possible that you are entitled to an additional form of compensation known as aggravated damages. Aggravated damages are in addition to any compensation arising from the employer not providing enough notice.

Essentially, aggravated damages exist to compensate an employee who, because of the actions of their employer at the time of dismissal, has suffered greater harm than just losing their job. The awards tend to be modest but can certainly help offset some of the financial damage of being fired.

Not everybody that loses their job has been wrongfully dismissed and even fewer are entitled to aggravated damages. But if you have been fired and don’t think there was a good reason for your termination, or if your employer acted badly in the process, call us and set up a consultation to talk about what options may be available to you.

~Kimberly Pavao

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