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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101445
Experience:  Lawyer
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I am employed as an office manager/administrative assistant

Customer Question

Good afternoon
I am employed as an office manager/administrative assistant by a family physician in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The working conditions are unbearable as the doctor bullies the staff and places unreasonable expectations on them. On Friday February 26 I received a phone call from the doctor saying he was changing my contract. He was adding extra duties and I was to sign it or feel free to leave. The additions/changes were, pick up milk, clean examining beds, clean door knobs, pick up vaccines, 10% salary taken away from reports i prepare and other admin jobs. On Monday February 29 I went to see my family physician, explained the enormous amount of stress i was experiencing, my symptoms etc. It was advised by my family physician to stay away from work for 2 weeks, a note was provided to my employer. I cannot return to an unhealthy environment, I cannot accept the new terms of my contract and wish to resign. My original contract, the one without the changes states I must provide 2 weeks notice if i resign. Due to the medical reasons I cannot return back to work. What are my options, am I still legally responsible to go back to work for 2 weeks?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked for your employer for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
21 months
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

I am not able to speak to you on the telephone. I know the site offers this service but the site is based in the US. In Canada the rules of my law society prohibit me from speaking to you on the telephone as you are not my client.

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.

I suggest that your next step be to consult with an employment lawyer face to face.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome.

If we are done please rate me so that I can receive credit for my work.