Executive Dismissal

Executive dismissal: a brief (and practical) overview

Executives and managers are not ordinary employees.  Executive Dismissal is a complex situation. There is a high degree of trust and responsibility in those roles. Accordingly, the stakes are higher and the situations more complex when it comes to executive dismissals.

 When an executive has been fired there are many concerns about their situation: money, reputation, finding another job, fair treatment… Executives often have significant entitlements but the wrong move can prove extremely costly. 

If you have been, or are about to be, fired or forced out the first thing you should do is contact an expert employment lawyer. That may sound self-serving, an employment lawyer’s website recommending you contact a labour lawyer, but the truth is that it is simply the most prudent course of action to maintain your rights and advance your interests.

 Employment law is tricky. In Quebec, there is a distinction between how executives and managers are treated vs other employees. Then there are the delay periods. For some cases, such as constructive dismissal, the delays for filing legal claim are extremely short. After the delay runs out, the law considers silence to be de facto consent to changes in your employment contract. Without a working knowledge of employment law, it is very easy to accidentally damage your case or bar your own claims.


 There is also the flip side. If you have been given a fair severance offer, been dismissed for sufficient cause, or any number of other circumstances where you have been treated decently then you should not pursue legal action. It is far better to know this ASAP. Partly because this will prevent your wasting time and money, but also so you don’t miss out on an easy and timely solution to your problem.

 A good employment lawyer will ask for your objectives and give you a clear assessment on:

  • Whether anything can be done
  • Whether the benefits are likely to outweigh the costs
  • What your best course of action is

This avoids wasting your time and your money. If you have a fair offer or a bad case, it’s far better to learn this sooner. That way you can get on with your life. However, if you do have a case that’s worthwhile for you to pursue timeliness is also a factor. The longer it takes for you to contact an expert employment lawyer, the more your case can lapse, and the worse the position you can find yourself in.

 Once you have a strategy in place, adjustments will still need to be made as time goes on. Nothing in law is guaranteed or static.

Your Expert Labour and Employment Lawyers for Executive Dismissal in Montreal, Laval and West Island

What you should tell your lawyer immediately

There are many factors that can determine what you are legally entitled to and that can affect your options. There are a number of factors which your lawyer should know in order to give you a fair assessment of your options. These include:

  • How long you worked at the company
  • Your yearly salary and how it is broken down (base salary, bonus/STIP, stock options/RSUs/PSUs/LTIPs, benefits, car allowance, pension, etc…)
  • Your position
  • If you were fired in a manner that is detrimental to your reputation or career
  • The likelihood of finding a similar position
  • Job performance reviews
  • The reasons the company gave for your dismissal
  • Whether you have been harassed or been discriminated against in the workplace
  • Whether you have been accused of harassment or discrimination in the workplace


The most frequent remedy is fair severance pay. Other remedies you may be entitled to include your employer helping you find new employment or even being re-hired outright. The remedies available to you always depend on your circumstances and on what you want.

Whether you have been dismissed, wrongfully dismissed or constructively dismissed, you are entitled to fair treatment. Practically speaking, this means severance pay. Severance pay is often offered by the employer, however, in many cases, that offer is not a fair one. Before accepting a severance pay package you should always consult an expert to make sure the offer is fair.