If you suspect that you are a victim of wrongful dismissal, it is crucial that you consult a lawyer to understand whether you have been treated unfairly. You should never make assumptions about how the law works.
Losing your job can be a life-changing experience. Sometimes, it is a positive change. In many cases, though, it can be devastating and scary. The worst thing you can do is assume that the company has treated you fairly, or that there is no point in fighting for what you deserve.
If you have been offered a severance package (or even worse, not offered any severance at all), you need to have the situation reviewed by a lawyer that specializes in Employment Law. If you don’t, you will likely be shortchanging yourself and those who depend on you at a critical time.
There are so many misconceptions out there, including the notions that:
- everyone is entitled to a severance package,
- severance is one month per year of service,
- employment standards legislation sets out all of your entitlements,
- you are only entitled to your base salary during the severance period, and
- you can always be fired for cause if you engage in serious misconduct.
This is a very complicated area of the law, and you need a lawyer that specializes in it to ensure that you are treated fairly.
You may not have a right to your job – most employees can be dismissed at any time, for almost any reason. However, unless there is just cause for dismissal, employees must be provided with notice or “severance”.
Employers will often impose a deadline by which the employee has to sign – often it is within a few days or a week. DO NOT PANIC. That is the deadline to accept their offer; if you do not sign and return the documents, you will still receive your statutory entitlements, and you can pursue the additional compensation to which you are entitled. Missing the arbitrary deadline does not prejudice your legal rights.
Most employers will agree to extend the deadline, so if you are trying to schedule a time to meet with one of our team, you should ask for more time if necessary. Employers rarely deny this request, as they know that ultimately, their legal obligations have to be met and an arbitrary deadline won’t change that.
How we can help
If you have been “laid off”, “fired”, “terminated”, “let go”, or otherwise lost your job, we will review the circumstances with you, explain the law, assess your entitlements, and then determine the best approach to pursuing them. In addition to assessing how many months of notice you are entitled to, we will help you understand whether all obligations have been met, including variable compensation such as bonuses and commissions, car allowances, pensions, stock options, and medical, dental and disability benefits. We can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome, either through negotiation or litigation.
Seeing a lawyer may seem like an unnecessary expense when your income has just been cut off, but that is the time when you need capable advice the most. In most cases, we are able to identify significant shortfalls in what has been offered. So you may save a few hundred dollars by not coming in for a consultation, but it could cost you tens of thousands more.
We have never had someone tell us that they regretted coming in for a consultation. Either we will explain the deficiencies in the offer you receive or, in rare cases, we will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the offer was fair.