Do not sign and return a termination package without calling an employment lawyer and getting legal advice.
What Happens If I’m Terminated?
Your employer terminates your position. This is a situation that many Canadians face during a career. When that happens, a financially savvy employer will then want to save time and money. Many will offer a termination package including notice or pay in lieu of notice and severance, amongst other entitlements, but set a short deadline for you to sign that termination package. In most cases, that employer-imposed deadline is provided by the employer for their own financial benefit. The employer may hope that you agree to employer-imposed terms of notice or pay in lieu of notice and severance, amongst others, without getting legal advice, and impose the deadline to ease you into that outcome.
Luckily, the employer does not determine what you are owed in termination pay. The law determines what you are owed in termination pay, and it may be significantly more than what the employer has offered.
Employment Standards Act in Ontario
In Ontario, we have an Employment Standards Act that sets minimums for owed notice or pay in lieu of notice and severance. An employer cannot offer you less than Employment Standards Act minimums. That is only the start, however. You may be entitled to significantly more than these minimums. If you did not sign an employment contract with your employer or you signed a contract that does not include a provision on termination pay, you will be owed common law reasonable notice, generally more than Employment Standards Act minimums. If you did sign an employment contract with your employer and that contract includes a provision on termination pay, the law determines if that contract is valid. The Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that “individual employees, and in particular non-unionized employees, are often in an unequal bargaining position in relation to their employers.” To reduce the harm of unequal bargaining, we have laws that provide leverage to employees. Courts scrutinize employment contracts to ensure compliance with legislation. If a termination provision is invalid, it is unenforceable and you will be entitled to common law reasonable notice. If terminated, you should get an opinion of a lawyer.
Contact Cariati Law for a free consultation. A wrongful termination lawyer at our firm will be happy to sit down with you, review your claim, and advise you of your legal rights. Call Cariati Law now at (905) 629 8040 to schedule a legal consultation.