Mississauga Employment Lawyers Advising Employees on Termination and Wrongful Dismissal
If you have been terminated, you may be tempted to simply sign the severance package you have been provided with so that you can sever ties with your former employer and begin to move forward. While this may seem enticing, it is not the best course of action. Most employees do not realize how much they are entitled to upon termination and, without obtaining knowledgeable advice, often end up accepting significantly less than they should receive.
If you have been fired, one of the first phone calls you should make is to a wrongful dismissal lawyer. The highly experienced Mississauga employment lawyers at Campbell Bader LLP have been advising employees on termination, severance packages, and wrongful dismissal since 1999. We can review any termination letter or package you have been provided with, negotiate with your employer on your behalf, and file a wrongful dismissal claim where necessary. With our lawyers on your side, you can ensure you are getting the maximum amount that you are entitled to.
Terminations in Ontario
In most cases, an employer can fire an employee for any reason, so long as they provide that employee with either advance notice of that termination (i.e. reasonable notice) or pay instead of that notice (i.e. pay in lieu of notice). Where a termination has been for cause, no notice or severance is required.
Employers and employees are often at odds with respect to how much reasonable notice or pay is fair. While the Employment Standards Act outlines certain minimums that apply, most employees who are fired are entitled to much more than this bare minimum threshold. The amount of notice and severance an employee should receive will depend on several factors, including how long they were employed, their age, the level of responsibility they held while employed, the availability of similar employment, and other considerations. In addition to notice, employees may also be entitled to other amounts, including bonuses, commissions, and stock options.
Where employers allege that an employee has been dismissed for cause, that employee can always challenge whether there actually was serious enough misconduct to warrant a just cause dismissal and therefore, no notice.
All these things should be carefully and thoroughly discussed with an employment lawyer. If you simply agree with the first offer you are presented with upon termination, you may be cheating yourself out of significantly more money or notice.
When you retain a lawyer following a termination, he or she will review the severance package or letter that your former employer has provided you with to determine what exactly has been proposed. Your lawyer will then respond to the employer, generally requesting additional notice, pay, and compensation. This will likely lead to a negotiation between the employer’s lawyers and your lawyer and may result in a second offer with a much higher sum or longer notice period.
Where such an offer is not forthcoming, a wrongful dismissal action may be filed, which will start litigation against your employer. This may also trigger negotiations and a higher offer or will proceed to trial.
Your lawyer will explain the process to you in more detail when you speak with them. At Campbell Bader LLP we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with clients. We strive to demystify the law, provide clarity about what you can expect in the process, and are available to answer questions as the matter moves forward.
Best Practices After Termination: Always Consult an Employment Lawyer
Most severance packages will provide terminated employees with a date by which that employee must sign the package and return it. The timelines for doing so are generally tight and do not provide much time for that employee to think about what they want to do. No matter what the timing of your severance offer is, do not sign anything until you have had a chance to speak with a lawyer. The “deadline” the employee faces is almost always completely artificial and designed to push the employee to a quick (usually poor) decision.
Campbell Bader LLP: Protecting Terminated Employees
If you have been let go, contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer as soon as possible. At Campbell Bader LLP we can counsel you on your rights, advise you on your options, help you create a plan for moving forward, and secure fair compensation for the wrongful termination of your employment. Contact us online or at 905-828-2247 to learn how we can help.