How Quebec Courts Evaluate Compensation in Employment Disputes: 8 Criteria You Need to Know
If you have been fired or laid off and feel your rights have been violated, you may be entitled to seek fair compensation for one or more of the following:
1. The Duration of Your Employment
Duration refers to how long you have held your position with the company. Based on the length of your tenure, a judge may examine the duration of your employment to evaluate how much severance or compensation you are entitled to.
2. Your Job Performance
In employment disputes, a judge will always factor in an employee’s performance. If year after year the employee has stellar reviews and then suddenly they are laid off, it indicates to the court that performance of the employee was likely not a factor involved in their dismissal. In general, an employee who has proof of excellent performance (such as through documented performance evaluations), will be granted greater compensation or severance than if there is an indication of poor performance.
3. Your Age
It is a fact that age is a factor in the job market. When a person is reaches their 40s or 50s and holds an executive management position, if fired or laid off, it can be difficult to find another job if employers favour younger candidates. To make matters worse, executive positions are highly competitive and there are fewer of them, which can aggravate the situation for someone who is a bit older.
The judge will take these factors into consideration when evaluating your case.
4. Where You Live
As indicated, one thing a court considers when determining whether to compensate an employee and how much, is the level of difficulty the person will experience in finding similar employment. If they will easily be able to find another such position with another company quickly, the court will be less likely to see the need for compensation from employer to past employee. However, if such jobs are rare in the geographical area in which the employee lives, the court will see justification in ruling that compensation must be provided due to the difficulty for the employee in replacing their income in a timely manner.
5. Lost Wages
If you have been out of work and unable to find employment, the court may consider the amount of lost wages in determining what compensation you are entitled to.
6. Psychological or emotional harm, stress and/or trauma
If the actions of your employer caused you significant psychological or emotional hardships, the court will consider this in its evaluation and may award you a monetary amount for damages due to suffering you have endured.
7. The Facts of the Case
The judge will evaluate the facts of the case. If your employer laid you off claiming it was necessary due to financial woes, the judge will work to determine if it is true and if the company is indeed in financial trouble.
8. Efforts to Mitigate the Situation
In evaluating the amount of compensation to award a plaintiff, one of the things a court will consider is the efforts on the part of the plaintiff to mitigate their situation. For example, if you are dismissed and make no efforts to find new employment, the court will see that you had a chance to mitigate the negative impact of your financial situation but chose not to do so. This could lead to a reduction in the amount of compensation you are awarded.