When an employee is terminated without just cause and without sufficient notice, an offer of pay in lieu of notice is often made by the employer. This is commonly referred to as a severance package and is usually communicated to the employee in the termination letter. If you have been let go from employment and offered a severance package, you need to first know what laws are applicable and how they will affect your rights. Only an experienced employment lawyer can guide you through this process and help you achieve the most favourable outcome and advise you whether you are in a situation of wrongful dismissal. Similarly, if you are an employer considering the termination of an employee’s contract of employment, you should consult with an employment lawyer to ensure compliance with any applicable employment contract, the minimum statutory obligations and any common law obligation, otherwise you may be faced with a claim for wrongful dismissal.
Most of our clients are able to resolve matters without resorting to litigation. With each party represented by counsel (normally) and with proper analysis of the common law and statutory factors governing notice and severance pay, we will represent your interests to ensure a fair and equitable Severance Package. If you have been offered a Severance Package, you should not sign any kind of Release without first obtaining independent legal advice from a qualified and experienced employment lawyer.
The law surrounding your rights and obligations in the employment context is found in many different statutes including the Employment Standards Act, the Canada Labour Code, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Human Rights Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, among others. In addition, there is a history of jurisprudence (case law) that has developed over time by judges deciding cases that collectively makes up the Common Law. Depending upon your fact situation, both statutory and common law principles may apply and need to be carefully considered when assessing the sufficiency of a severance proposal and whether it amounts to wrongful dismissal.
Often, we are able to negotiate for a better severance package through negotiation/mediation. Occasionally, negotiation is unsuccessful, and the matter must then proceed to through the courts. Either way, negotiation or litigation, we have the skills and experience to effectively represent your interests and secure an appropriate result.
Without legal representation, you are at a significant disadvantage. We have the years of experience and knowledge to effectively and vigorously represent your interests. We will navigate the system for you. We are not afraid to go to Court, as we are first and foremost trial lawyers.