Like any court matter, wrongful dismissal claims require certain types of documents to be used as evidence to help strengthen your odds of being successful. When you don’t have documentary evidence, the facts of your case can be far more easily disputed, and the final decision would come down to who appears to be the most credible, which can go either way. As such, employees suspecting a dismissal should know what documents could be helpful in proving their case in the event they are wrongfully dismissed.
What documents are useful?
One of the most important documents to have is a written employment agreement. This document will confirm the agreed upon employment terms, and when the document was signed, and whether it was signed at all. A written employment agreement, or an absence of one, will confirm whether the employee is entitled to common law reasonable notice, only statutory minimums, or something in between by way of contract law.
T4 Statements of Remuneration and paystubs are also useful in determining the salary/wages, which would be required to determine how much money the notice period would entitle the employee to. The Record of Employment can confirm the start and end dates of the employee’s employment.
Any additional confirmation of bonuses or benefits provided can further increase the amount of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful dismissal matter.
If an employee is dismissed and is provided a termination letter, they should be sure to hold onto it. It would confirm the date of the dismissal and potentially any reasons provided for it. The reasons behind a dismissal provided in a termination letter would be relevant in the event the employee was dismissed with alleged just cause.
What if Just Cause is Alleged?
In the event of a possible just cause dismissal, further documents would be required in addition to the above. Any relevant emails or text messages between the employee, employer, and any other relevant parties can confirm additional context behind any disciplinary events or demonstrate examples of mistreatment. Further, any warning letters or suspension letters received can demonstrate whether there was merit to any discipline taken or to the allegation of just cause or not.
Potential Human Rights Concerns
Similarly to a case of just cause dismissal, if any of the Ontario Human Rights Code rights have been infringed during, or in the lead up to the dismissal, text messages or emails demonstrating any potential human rights issues from the employer should also be saved. This can include emails in which the employer denies you reasonable accommodations or says something insulting to the employee based on a protected ground under the Code, for example.
Medical notes would be important to demonstrating facts that may be related to the ground of disability or for demonstrating the medical impact the employer’s discrimination may have had on the employee following the dismissal.
If the employee found new employment following their dismissal, they would want to provide documents confirming any income received, such as a T4 Statement of Remuneration or paystubs, as income earned at a new job would be deducted from the award of damages as mitigation.
Each wrongful dismissal case is fact specific, and different facts may warrant different documents including some beyond those listed in this article. As such, confirming what documents would be most beneficial to have with an employment lawyer before taking any action against the employer may assist in ensuring all of the necessary documents are properly gathered.
If you are an employee and have been dismissed from your employment, or feel you may be dismissed from your employment, or an employer who is facing a wrongful dismissal allegation, our team of experienced legal professionals at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to serve as, or should be construed as legal advice, and is only to provide general information. It is in no way particular to your case and should not be relied on in any way. No portion or use of this blog will establish a lawyer-client relationship with the author or any related party. Should you require legal advice for your particular situation, fill out the contact form, call 1-(800)771-7882, or email email@example.com.
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