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M D J, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience:  I have a general legal practice in Alberta, Canada.
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I work as an Area Manager at a dental company in Alberta Canada.

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I work as an Area Manager at a dental company in Alberta Canada. In April of this year, I went on immediate medical leave due to depression/anxiety. My company has been very unsupportive. My CEO and Regional Manager met with me 4 weeks ago, and the CEO was intimidating, condescending, unprofessional and subtly trying to get me to resign. I have many outstanding performance reviews, emails, letters, and text messages of his absolute faith and confidence in me. However, since I went on medical leave changed his attitude. He has made it so uncomfortable and impossible for me to return to my position. I have not been terminated and I have not resigned. My extended health benefits were cut off 6 weeks ago. Where do I stand?

M D J :


Under Canadian Employment law a person can be "constructively dismissed" as a result of the behavior of her employer. A constructive dismissal may occur where an employer's conduct creates a hostile work environment which renders the employee's continued employment intolerable. You are entitled to a reasonable notice period or pay in lieu of notice which is linked to the number of years you have worked at the dental company.

If ending the relationship is an option you would like to pursue, you may wish to engage a lawyer to conduct a thorough review of the circumstances so as to determine whether you have been constructively dismissed. In this setting you will also be able to explore the appropriate notice period. At that point you may wish to approach your employer with the information gained from the lawyer or you may wish to have the lawyer correspond directly with your employer.

Unfortunately in this setting I am only able to give legal information, which means I can't apply the law to your circumstances. That being said, please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have about what I've written so far.





I am still on long term disability. This weekend I have accepted a new position, with a new company. I am waiting to hear from my LTD case manager as to how I proceed with resigning from this position. Do you have any advice on resigning? My position has been covered since I left on medical leave. Does this require the 2 weeks notice? I have been with the company for 4 years. Your advice would be to seek legal aid to complete further investigation? Thank you! Rebekah

M D J :

Hi Rebekah,

You have a couple of options.

1. Because of the hostile work environment, you may be the one entitled to a notice period, which in the circumstances would mean pay in lieu of notice based on the amount of time you worked at the dental company. If you took this position, you would inform your current employer (personally or through a lawyer) that you have been constructively dismissed as a result of the "intimidating, condescending, unprofessional" conduct during your medical leave making it "uncomfortable and impossible" for you to return to your position and are entitled to pay in lieu of notice of termination. If you take this position, you would obviously not be required to give notice because you are essentially saying they wrongfully terminated you by their actions. The risk with this option is if they disagree, they may dispute your claim and take the position you quit, which may not be resolved quickly. I would recommend talking this option over with a lawyer in detail.

2. If you simply want to be done with the situation, 2 weeks notice is the standard in normal circumstances but you may be walking away from something you are entitled to under the law. Again, talking the situation over with a lawyer would help you to judge your chances of success.

M D J :

A rough estimate of the notice period is approximately 1 month for each year of service. But this is a rough estimate which changes based on the nature of employment, the manner of dismissal, the difficulty of finding a new equivalent job, etc. Having a new job to go to doesn't change a constructive dismissal but it can impact the amount of notice pay you'd receive. So very roughly 4 months worth of pay. You'll have to decide if that's worth the cost of hiring a lawyer and going through the process.

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