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How Long Can an Employee Dispute Compensation Changes?

In the recent Court of Appeal decision in Kosteckyj v. Paramount Resources Ltd. 2022 ABCA 230 (CanLII), the court considered the possibility that specific timelines could be imposed on employees for voicing dissatisfaction with unwelcome changes to the terms of their employment if they want to subsequently argue that they’ve been constructively dismissed.

What Typically Triggers a Constructive Dismissal Claim?

Constructive dismissal arguments often follow unilateral changes made to an employment agreement by the employer.  When an employee alleges a constructive dismissal after a change, they’re essentially saying that the change cuts so deeply to the core of the employment relationship that they’ve been forced to leave: “I’m quitting, but you made me! … and by the way, you have to now compensate me as if you’d fired me.”

Alleging a constructive dismissal is a risky play for employees because it’s a zero-sum game.  If their argument fails, then they’ll have quit their employme...

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