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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What happens if my old employer offers me something new at a lower level?

There are times where an employer will decide to end your current employment, but offer you something else within the company at a lower title and a lower salary. Whether or not you are required to accept that offer in order to mitigate depends entirely on the circumstances, but if that new offer is an insult to your seniority and experience then there is good law on your side to not take it. 

In the case of that restaurant manager mentioned above, her working relationship with her employer was already deteriorating when they attempted to demote her from manager to First Assistant. She refused, believing it to be a humiliating move, and the Ontario Court of Appeal in that case agreed. They cited an earlier Supreme Court decision which stated that, “The employee is not obliged to mitigate by working in an atmosphere of hostility, embarrassment or humiliation.  The non-tangible elements of the situation, including work atmosphere, stigma and loss of dignity, as well as the tangible elements, such as the nature and conditions of employment, must be considered in determining whether the objective standard has been met.”

To put it simply, the test is a reasonable one. If it would be unreasonable to accept an offer because of the shame and humiliation that surrounds the new position then the law may well be on your side. 

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Rudner Law
15 Allstate Parkway
Suite 600
Markham, ON
L3R 5B4

Phone: 416-864-8500
Text: 416-864-8500

Email: info@rudnerlaw.ca

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