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In Canada, the Bardal factors are a set of guidelines used by courts to determine whether an employee was wrongfully dismissed.  The factors are:

  1. The character of the employment relationship.
  2. The length of the employee's service.
  3. The nature of the employee's duties.
  4. The circumstances leading to the dismissal.

The Bardal factors were first set out in the case of Bardal v. Globe & Mail Ltd., [1960] O.J. No. 486 (Ont. H.C.J.). In that case, the court found that an employee who had been with the company for 20 years and had been responsible for its advertising department was wrongfully dismissed when he was suddenly fired without cause.

The court held that the Bardal factors should be considered when determining whether an employee has been wrongfully dismissed.  The factors are not to be applied rigidly, but rather, they are to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The first Bardal factor, the character of the employment relationship, looks at the type of contract the employee had.  For example, an employee who is hired on a probationary basis has a different type of contract than an employee who has been with the company for many years.

The second Bardal factor, the length of the employee's service, is relevant because it shows the level of commitment the employee has to the company. An employee who has been with the company for a long time is more likely to have been wrongfully dismissed than an employee who was only with the company for a short time.

The third Bardal factor, the nature of the employee's duties, is relevant because it shows how important the employee is to the company.  An employee who is responsible for a critical function of the company is more likely to have been wrongfully dismissed than an employee who is not as critical to the company's operations.

The fourth Bardal factor, the circumstances leading to the dismissal, is relevant because it can show whether the dismissal was for a valid reason or if it was done in a way that was unfair to the employee.  For example, if an employee is fired without being given any warning or notice, that would be considered to be a circumstance leading to the dismissal.

The Bardal factors are just a set of guidelines that are to be considered when determining whether an employee has been wrongfully dismissed.  The factors are not to be applied rigidly, but rather, they are to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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