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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100483
Experience:  Lawyer
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My manager called me down and insulted me for 40 minutes with his door wide open for my fellow employees to hear. He basically attacked my personal choices and my intelligence. This whole situation began with a vacation request for my honeymoon. I went through the proper channels and put in a formal request 3 months in advance of the expected vacation. Due to a merger that was announced a week ago my manager said "who do you think you are, what kind of rational person asks for this amount of time off, that the company is undergoing changes and that my personal life should not affect those changes, that It went on for 40 minutes. I


was devasted, I am devasted, I called his boss, my previous boss and explained the situation. I've been physically ill for the past 4 days. I went in to speak with my other boss, who is his boss and he told me that he is sorry to hear about this and he understands and that he is expecting me to go in tomorrow morning to meet all ogether to discuss what happened and continue as if nothing happened. I am sick, feel destroyed and feel bullied and pushed out of my job. There is no going back from the details of what went on in that office that day, I feel like i have no choice but to quit and I have been with the company for 4 years, please help. This is the email I wrote to my boss describing what happened:

It is with great sadness that I write this email. Following yesterday's meeting with Todd, I no longer feel comfortable to stay and complete my tasks for today. This meeting began when I personally went into Todd's office to hand him a revised vacation request. My original vacation request asked for time off in December to enjoy a trip that was gifted to me by my mother for my honeymoon following my wedding in late November of this year. I did ask Jerry how much vacation time I have accrued and he emailed me back stating that I have 18 days. Following that request, it was announced that the company will be merging. Todd spoke with you and you kindly allowed for two weeks off during that time. He looked at my revised request and became frustrated immediately and I did tell him that my mom has booked the trip and that I will have to sort out that time difference, and he told me that that is not and will not be his problem. I was shocked at his comments following that. Todd basically called me down and said what kind of a rational person asks for that amount of time off?? That I was unreasonable and wrong for having a personal life, and that my personal life and plans cannot interfere with the company and he will under no circumstance stand for such requests. I was first of all shocked at his delivery and verbal conduct and immediately became upset and felt belittled like a child. He then continued to attack my personal behavior stating that everyone in the office has commented on how I'm not the same the person I was back in May when I was hired and that I have not lived up to his expectations, and described in detail how all I do is bring him problems wih no solutions and he cannot stand for problems??  I expressed to him with tears running down my face, I could barely get the words out that yes, I am not the same person due to an unfortunate personal event that he is well aware of, and that I have been doing my absolute best and communicating everything that has happened. I have never in my almost four years of working for this company ever, been made to feel as awful and devalued not only as an employee but as a human being. He left the door wide open during the entire time and as I struggled to get words out and respond, it was open for all my fellow co-workers to hear our conversation. I feel humiliated. I love my job, and I appreciate Todd's passion for his role, but there is no compassion there whatsoever.  My role has been constantly changing and I am adapting to it to the best of my ability. The volume of work is high and I have concentrated my efforts on the admin side as well as front help, phones, rentals, service, whatever needs to get done. I work hard but Todd informed me that all he hears is excuses from me as to why I haven't booked facilities for fall prevention seminars and how he feels I have purposely ignored his direction. You know well that I have bounced around from different offices to cover work loads, a personal event and now a new role that is still becoming defined. He went on and on about how his career has progressed from the beginning , how hard he's worked to get where he is, how Danny is so wonderful at what he does, how Paul and Carol are the best and how James is top at what he does; ( yes, they are) but all I took from that was how incompetent  I am.  I work hard everyday and I love working for you Randy, but I cannot for my mental and physical health be in the same building as Todd until there is a proper resolution.

Thank you for your question.

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I am very sorry this happened to you. I can assure you that I and most others would feel exactly as you do.

The situation does sound like this may be a case of constructive dismissal.

When an employer does something that fundamentally changes the nature of the employment so that it drives the employee to quit, this may be a case of constructive dismissal. This is usually the case when the employer reduces wages, cuts hours etc. It is also the case where the employer's conduct makes it intolerable for the employee to continue working.

If an employee does quit under these circumstances then the law is that constructive dismissal is wrongful dismissal and the employer will be liable for damages.

If you are considering this option it is crucial that you first consult with an employment lawyer so that you can get a legal opinion from an expert both about whether the facts amount to constructive dismissal and, as well, about what damages you may be entitled to.

Generally the damages would be equal to what you would receive had you been dismissed without cause. If that had been the case you would have been entitled to receive "reasonable" notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Generally, in determining what is reasonable notice Courts look at several factors including the length of time you worked for the employer, your age, your position, the likelihood of finding new employment etc.

At the high end, if you were in a managerial position, the Court would likely order one month's notice or pay in lieu of notice for each year of employment. If you were not in a managerial position the Court would order somewhat less.

You can contact the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be $25.

The number is:

604.687.3221 or 1.800.663.1919.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that information. I feel that what you replied with is accurate. I told my boss that I will have an answer for him tomorrow but under no circumstance am I going back. How do I respond to him tomorrow with my decision so that I do it appropriately to ensure that I receive EI benefits?

Why not simply tell him that you are in the process of getting some advice (you can say legal advice or else just leave it as advice) and that you need a few more days to make a decision?

If you can prove constructive dismissal then you would be eligible for EI but you may very well end up getting a settlement from this employer once your lawyer sends a demand letter threatening a lawsuit.
Debra and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Debra,


If I do not want to take the lawyer route, how do i go to EI once I've quit and say that I quit do to constructive dismissal??

You would tell them the facts and state that you were forced to quit because of this terrible treatment and they could investigate and then decide based on what they find.

But even if you do not sue you can get a lawyer to send a demand letter that may be all it takes.

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