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Executive Dismissal – Specific Issues


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Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal is akin to being dismissed, but without being told that this is the case. Constructive dismissals are often imposed upon executives or managers with the goal of making them leave their employment without compensation.

Signs of Constructive Dismissal

Signs of constructive dismissal can include:

  • Reduction in salary
  • Reduction in title
  • Reduction in responsibilities

With that said, what constitutes constructive dismissal varies on a case by case basis. This is a very complex legal concept and it is always important not to jump to conclusions before properly reviewing the facts.

Nowadays, constructive dismissal is often carried out more subtly. The legal definition of constructive dismissal includes:
a) a single, unilateral act which breaches an employee’s employment conditions or
b) a series of actions, which taken together, shows the employer no longer intends to be bound by the employee’s employment conditions.
An important part of any constructive dismissal claim is that the executive or manager who has been constructively dismissed must not consent to the changes. Consent can be given in two main ways:
a) actively accepting the changes or
b) not quickly objecting to the changes.


Wrongful dismissal

Wrongful dismissal covers many different situations. If an executive or manager has lost their job for any reason other than a legitimate reason, then they have been wrongfully dismissed and should contact a wrongful dismissal lawyer.

This can include, but is not limited to:

  • False accusations,
  • Age discrimination,
  • Any kind of discrimination,
  • Harassment,
  • Being told your position has been eliminated when it has not,
  • Being terminated when younger or less qualified employees have been kept on,
  • Being forced to quit through inappropriate working conditions, and
  • Being recruited and then dismissed within a short period of time.

If you have been subject to wrongful dismissal, that gives you rights under the law and you should consult a lawyer. A wrongful dismissal lawyer can help you with financial compensation and possibly reintegration.


Severance Pay

If an executive or manager has been dismissed or forced out of their employment, they may be entitled to a severance pay package. Severance pay is often offered by the employer, however, in many cases, that package is not a fair one. Before accepting a severance pay package, you should always consult an expert to make sure the offer is fair. If the package is fair and the terms are fair, in most cases the offered severance package should be accepted. However, if the severance pay package is unfair, to ensure the best possible result it is important to engage an advisor.


Severance Pay Disputes

Severance pay disputes often begin with negotiations but may continue on to litigation. In spite of how negotiations are often portrayed in legal dramas, it is worthwhile to invest substantial efforts in negotiating because, when properly done, it frequently prevents the need to invest substantial time, stress, and expense in litigation for an uncertain result. In negotiations both parties have to agree to a certain result, which means that the amount of severance pay and terms an executive and employer agree to in negotiations can’t be overturned on an appeal.


Severance Pay Negotiations

Severance package negotiations are highly strategic. Employers frequently have years of experience across several dozens of cases (if not more) where they have negotiated them. Bringing in a respected advisor right from the start will generally force the employer to act more fairly and set the tone for fair and productive negotiations. A trusted and experienced employment lawyer can help ensure that the employer pays what the executive deserves and that the terms and conditions are also fair.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is when older executives or managers are subjected to pressure to leave their position. This can be done in many ways. Signs of age discrimination may include:

  • Being pressured to leave their position
  • Being shut out of important decision making circles
  • If positions are eliminated, theirs is among the first to be eliminated
  • They have been subtly replaced in their role by younger candidates
  • Loss of opportunities for promotion (older candidates not considered for advancement beyond their current position)
  • Excluded and/or marginalized at work

Age discrimination is exemplified by people treating older executives or managers less respectfully in certain circumstances. Employers can unfairly and falsely presume that they do not possess a modern outlook and that they are not innovative. Employers may also assume that older executives are looking to retire shortly and cannot be part of any long term plans. Often these assumptions are wrong, but they nonetheless can lead employers to subtly (or not so subtly) try to push those executives to leave. If you have experienced any of the signs listed above, you may have been subjected to age discrimination and should consult an employment lawyer to help you ameliorate your situation.