Skip to content

Stress at work is a serious problem. Google bad bosses and see what comes up. It is not well known however that undue stress caused by inappropriate conduct of the employer can lead to a constructive termination of employment. In other words, the employee may be forced to leave work for the sake of their health but can still bring action against the employer for wrongful termination.

What are the types of abusive conduct which can lead to a constructive dismissal? It has been well stated by a judge in Alberta that it is a “fundamental term of any employment relationship that the employer will treat the employee with civility, decency, respect and dignity.” Clearly, these are matters of degree and each case must be looked at its own facts. It can fairly be said however that conduct such as harassment, repeated yelling and the excessive use of foul language can pass the test.

Employers have a duty not to create a hostile work environment. For many employees faced with this conduct, the stress reaches the point that continued employment becomes intolerable. In such cases, the Courts are there to grant the appropriate relief.