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Toronto Employment Lawyers
Employment Lawyers restricted to wrongful dismissal litigation

Tel: (416) 590-1900
Fax: (416) 590-1600

info@dumarkowitz.com

17th Floor, Yonge/Eglinton Centre
2300 Yonge Street
Suite 1750
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E4


"Work  is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person's life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society.  A person's employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being."

-- Chief Justice Dickson, in Reference re: Public Service Employee Relations Act (Alberta), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313 (Supreme Court of Canada),
at page 368.

 

 

   Articles

Browse our latest articles, presentations, and 
lectures about your employment law rights.

"Experienced in both courtroom litigation and streetwise settlement negotiation, Toronto attorneys provide aggressive fixed-fee representation of wrongfully-dismissed employees for maximum fair severance compensation."

Du Markowitz, LLP - Labour & Employment Lawyers


Attorney Howard Markowitz answers live radio inquiries on:
Just cause: What is “wrongful dismissal”?

A bend in the road isn’t the end of the road - unless you fail to make the turn.  Fortunately, case law provides that Ontario workers dismissed without “just cause” are entitled to paid period of “reasonable notice” to land replacement employment at comparable job conditions and salary.  And so read this article to learn common employer grounds for “just cause” and how to beat them for maximum fair severance package compensation.


Attorney Howard Markowitz gives Human Resources Development Canada lecture on:
Termination pay: What “reasonable notice” package do you deserve?

Every exit is an entrance somewhere else, and in situations of wrongful dismissal your entrance is the “reasonable notice” pay to which wrongfully dismissed workers are entitled well beyond minimal amounts provided by Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.  In assessing wrongful dismissal damages, Ontario courts therefore seek to put the employee in the same financial position they would have enjoyed had reasonable notice period been provided.  And so read this article to learn what Canadian courts are saying about fair severance package compensation available to Ontario employees wrongfully terminated without cause.


Attorney Howard Markowitz instructs Law Society of Upper Canada seminar on:
Negotiating strategy: maximizing your best severance package out of court. 

It’s been said that life isn’t so much in holding a good hand, as playing a poor hand well.  And while you may be out of a job, don’t let difficult circumstances prevent you from negotiating maximum fair severance package from your former employer.

 After you’ve been fired and decide not to accept your employer’s typically deficient offer, professional battle plan is critical to maximizing your fair severance compensation package.  Accordingly, the streetwise employment lawyer not only adds essential credibility to fallback threats of wrongful dismissal proceedings in court, but effective counsel will further advise you on what to ask for, whom you will talk to, and just what you want to achieve before attending a negotiation session.  And so read this article to learn how experienced counsel help clients better prioritize critical elements of your settlement for maximum fair severance package compensation.


Attorney Stephen Du speaks to the Toronto Star on:
Litigation strategy: Beating the unreasonable employer in court.

Some individuals have developed a wishbone where their backbone should be.  The streetwise employment lawyer, however, applies their intimate knowledge of this province’s 926+ pages of Ontario civil procedure to inexpensively settle your severance pay disputes where possible, and efficiently litigate where necessary.

And while some employers do extend reasonable offers of severance pay upon termination,  companies are increasingly adopting a more hard-line approach - believing (perhaps correctly) that most workers lack access to timely legal advice and can’t afford the legal fees even if they did.  Still more employers fear setting any form of precedent for future negotiations with other employees to be fired, or desperately hope their wrongfully-dismissed worker will quickly land alternate employment thereby reducing potential court damage awards in any event.  And so read this article for streetwise advise on when and how to sue your employer for maximum fair severance package compensation.


Du Markowitz attorneys defeat employers wishing they had read this article about:
Caution before firing: What most companies don’t know about their duty to warn. 
 

Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.  And so too does the legal standard for workplace incompetence require fair warning by your employer before you can be legally fired without termination pay.

More than ever, courts are increasingly calling for employer evidence of fair warning about performance deficiencies prior to an employee’s dismissal.  In other words, courts frown upon the sharp-practice of employers terminating workers without notice, taking the employee by surprise, and failing to advise even the ill-performing employee about the possibility of termination should performance not improve within a reasonable period of time.  And so read this article to defend even the most incompetent employee on grounds that the company breached its common-law duty to warn the worker of imminent dismissal for cause.


It’s been said that the only people who like change are wet babies.  Yet what if your work conditions have deteriorated so badly that you have no choice but to quit? 

Fortunately, courts have increasingly recognized the concept of “constructive dismissal” whereby distressed employees are still awarded “reasonable notice” damages despite the fact they have not yet been formally dismissed by their [usually underhanded] employers.  More specifically, “constructive dismissal” damages may be awarded in circumstances where the employer - without acting explicitly to terminate your employment - acts unilaterally to change employment terms/conditions such that the employee is entitled to regard the employer’s conduct as a termination, and so bring an action for wrongful dismissal even though they have not been formally fired.  And so read this article to strengthen your constructive dismissal arguments for maximum fair severance compensation.


Du Markowitz attorneys advance winning Superior Court arguments against...  
Incompetence: The underdog case against termination for cause.

Professionals are people who do jobs well even when they don’t feel like it.  As a professional, there’s nothing more frustrating than getting fired on unfounded allegations of employee incompetence.  But while easy to allege, incompetence is becoming increasingly more difficult for your employer to prove in court, thereby opening the door for streetwise employment lawyers to beat even the harshest allegations of incompetence through defence on the following three grounds.


Time spent in getting even is better spent getting ahead, and that’s why Ontario judges will question you the wrongfully-dismissed employee about your reasonable efforts to minimize employment-loss damages suffered throughout days and weeks following your termination from work.  In other words, the law doesn’t intend your reasonable notice period to be an extended vacation, but rather a necessary period of time in which to seek replacement employment at comparable working conditions and salary.

In cross-examination, company lawyers defending even the most blatantly wrongful dismissal without cause will hammer the unsuspecting plaintiff employee with suggestions that their failure to find timely new employment stems from their inherent laziness in refusing to apply for job ads, send out resumes, and otherwise network for replacement employment.  And so read this article detailing courtroom evidence necessary to defeat your employer’s last defence against maximum fair severance package compensation at trial.


Attorney Stephen Du advises departing employees on practical means of securing:
Job references: keeping your reputation out of the rumour mill. 

Professional reputations built over a lifetime are often destroyed overnight should you fail to secure (a) timely reference letters, (b) cover story to your co-workers, and (c) seal of your personnel file against nosy third-parties.  And so read this article for streetwise advice in securing your boss’ written assurance of confidentiality for leaving your employer with maximum personal privacy/reputation intact.


Du Markowitz attorneys help clients understand:
Record of Employment: Deciphering the ROE form.

When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.  One star shining for the wrongfully-dismissed employee comes in the form of federal Employment Insurance (EI) benefits available to all workers whose employment benefits have been interrupted through lay-offs both temporary and permanent.  Of course, amount and duration of EI benefits payable depends on particular circumstances of your length of service and salary level received.  And so read this article to better understand your right to timely “Record of Employment (ROE)” form within maximum 5-days of termination from employment.


It’s been said that diplomacy is the art of thinking twice before saying nothing.  But how can you possibly act diplomatically when you’ve just been fired from the long-term job that you love and depend on for friends, income, and emotional support?  While one certainly appreciates the psychological urge to tell-off your supervisor, board of directors, and company shareholders alike - there are few wrongful dismissal circumstances that can’t be made much worse by acting out frustrations on your boss, but few lives not improved by quickly landing even better employment to the envy of your former co-workers.  And so read this article about diverting emotional upset of wrongful dismissal into maximum fair severance package compensation and brighter days ahead.


Even when you're wrongfully dismissed, the taxman still wants his cut from your severance package. That said, lawyer and Chartered Accountant Stephen Du, LL.B., C.A. advises wrongfully-dismissed executives on creative (yet perfectly legal) methods of structuring severance packages for dramatically reduced income tax burden and maximum take-home pay.
      


Attorney Howard Markowitz advises The Globe and Mail on:
Requesting your exit package from work

Six out of ten people hate going to their jobs every day.  In this article, wrongfullydismissed.com lawyer Howard Markowitz advises miserable employees on requesting your exit package from work.

 

 

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"Experienced in both courtroom litigation and streetwise settlement negotiation,
Du Markowitz attorneys provide aggressive  fixed-fee representation of wrongfully
dismissed employees
for maximum fair severance compensation."

 

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