Forced to quit

Constructive Dismissal

Workers have a right to a harassment free workplace and to be warned in advance of any significant changes to their job. Workers who feel they are being forced to quit because of harassment, discrimination, or significant changes at work may have a legal right to termination pay and other compensation. The legal name for being forced to quit is "constructive dismissal."

"Constructive dismissal" can happen when an employee is not prepared to accept big job changes such as a change in location, shifts/hours, responsibility or authority. Constructive dismissal may also include situations where an employer harasses or abuses a worker, or gives a worker an ultimatum like "quit or be fired."

These are some common reasons for constructive dismissal:

  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Toxic work environment
  • Changes to your job

If a worker wishes to make a legal claim for constructive dismissal, he or she must not continue to work after a significant change is made such as a change in duties or shifts. Otherwise the law may find that the worker accepted the change. This is called "condonation." Condonation will weaken the worker's constructive dismissal claim. Not all significant changes are big enough for a legal claim of constructive dismissal.

If you are still working at a job where you think that you are being forced to quit, contact a lawyer at [email protected], before you quit, for a free legal opinion about your situation.

If you have already quit, you can make a claim for termination pay and other compensation in court or complain to the Ministry of Labour (you cannot do both). Usually you can obtain more termination pay in court than you can from the Ministry of Labour. To learn more, contact a lawyer at [email protected]

Be aware that there are time restrictions for beginning a court case and for filing a complaint. Employees who have been forced to quit, or are about to quit, should seek legal assistance as soon as possible.

Contact Us

If you think your rights have been violated, contact [email protected] Click here to fill out an online application for legal assistance. A lawyer from [email protected] will review your complaint, provide you with free summary legal advice and assess whether you qualify for legal assistance. Our legal assistance is also free, but only available to qualifying low-income or disadvantaged workers.