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 that you can do, however, is just 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 (unless it relates to protected grounds, such as Human Rights or reprisal). However, unless there is just cause for dismissal, employees must be provided with notice or “severance”.
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 a reasonable 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. 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.