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6. Damages for Emotional Distress
  If the circumstances of your termination were particularly distasteful (in terms of the manner in which the dismissal itself was carried out), there may be compensation available. The extra compensation is often called bad faith damages. The purpose of bad faith damages is to punish the employer for some type of wrongdoing, rather than to compensate you for the loss of your job. The factors the Courts consider when determining whether an award of bad faith damages is appropriate include:
  1. Whether the termination was carried out in a particularly offensive way
  2. Whether allegations of cause for termination are maintained without justification
  3. Whether you were fairly dealt with upon termination – including such things as all outstanding pay being provided
  4. Whether the employer failed to provide you with a letter of reference
  5. Whether the employer has taken steps that will impact your ability to find replacement employment

You could also get damages for emotional distress (also called aggravated damages), and punitive damages. However, bad faith, aggravated, and punitive damages are extremely rare in Canada. If you think you should be entitled to one of these forms of damages, consult a lawyer. Be aware that courts expect an employee to go through an emotionally difficult time when being dismissed. The fact that an employer has to give you the bad news that you’ve lost your job is not in itself reason to claim damages for emotional distress. Neither is the fact that the employer may give you some reasons why they’ve had to let you go. Courts recognize that getting fired is distressful in any situation. Therefore, bad faith, aggravated, and punitive damages are reserved for the truly exceptional cases – cases that some might say border on abusive.



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