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606 Employee options if wrongfully dismissed: Negotiation / Mediation / Lawsuit
If you have been dismissed from your employment without a good legal reason and have not been given proper notice, or pay instead of notice, you have been wrongfully dismissed and you have rights under the law. As of April 2001, you have the right to sue your employer in Small Claims Court if the amount being claimed is $10,000 or less, and in a higher court if the amount is more than $10,000. In many cases, employers do not want the expense of going to court, and may prefer to pay the employee to settle the matter. Few cases actually get to trial and they may settle at any stage of litigation. Normally, you or your lawyer will want to try negotiating with your employer before starting a lawsuit or before the lawsuit goes to court.
- Suing for wrongful dismissalIf you decide to sue your employer, you can ask for three types of compensation. First, you can claim that you were wrongfully dismissed and ask for the amount of money which equals the notice period you were entitled to. Second, if your employer fired you in a way that was cruel or humiliating, and because of this you suffered mental distress, you can ask for special compensation. Third, if your employer fired you in a malicious way or with the intent of causing you personal embarrassment or harm, you can also ask for money to be awarded to you as a way of punishing the employer for their actions. Usually, claims for mental distress and punishing the employer are only allowed in very extreme cases.
The chances of you winning in court will depend on the details of your situation. If you think you were wrongfully dismissed and you want to know your legal options or start a lawsuit, you should consult a lawyer.