Settling Employee Termination Claims

One of the most common claims brought against employers is that of wrongful termination. When an employee believes that they were fired without reason or unfairly let go from their job, they may work with a lawyer to file a wrongful dismissal claim in Toronto courts against your company. Former employees will try to use this route to get their job back, receive back pay, or push for compensatory damages that have arisen over their unemployment situations.

The Attraction of Settling Out of Court

Cases involving wrongful termination usually don’t make it to the courtroom, as a settlement is often reached between the company and the accuser beforehand. Civil trials can be lengthy, costly, and unpredictable, making a settlement a more assured option for resolution. It is an uphill battle for the terminated employee to provide substantiated proof of wrongdoing, as employers are often able to provide support for their reasons behind the dismissal. Poor performance that has been thoroughly documented on the part of a company helps prevent wrongful termination allegations from holding up in court, and research shows that only about half of the employees that go to trial win their case.  

The Value of Claims

With a wrongful termination claim, the settlement or award desired is often based on the extent of loss the followed the termination. The following factors are generally considered when assessing value in a claim.

1. Wages: The foremost consideration is the amount of money lost in wages from the day the termination started until the present time of the settlement negotiations or lawsuit. However, a plaintiff must have tried to minimize loss through new employment even though seeking backpay, but any financial help that was received from unemployment benefits or new income wages is deducted from the total of the past wages being sought.

2. Benefits: As employees lose their benefits when terminated, the cost of health insurance or things like stock options are often included as recovered loss in a suit.

3. Emotional Damages: In addition to money lost through termination, employees may claim that the emotional or mental anguish they experienced is worth compensation. Employees may use depression or anxiety from situations involving harassment or discrimination to support their claims of emotional distress.

Because wrongful termination cases can be difficult to prove, settlements are a common resolution by companies wishing to avoid an extensive legal battle. Employees will find their award valued against factors or wages, emotional damage, and lost benefits.