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Getting Laid off/unemployed

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
One time, a few years ago, during the recession, I was laid off.

I was given a few months notice, which, actually, is probably worse than being surprised by it. Gives you time to "brood". Ha.

So financially, going from $x to $EI was fantastically brutal. And the stress, oh my, the stress. Somehow though, I did manage to keep it together, for nearly a year, until I got back into the game.

So today, highly unexpectadly, a coworker and a great friend of mine was "terminated without cause".

I was doing a presentation at the time, when he texted me. Couldn't read it until after all was done.

Well I immediately took the rest of the week off, and got a look at the paperwork.

It says, basically, we will give you the minimum amount of $$$ required by law, unless you sign this indemnity, and then we'll pay you a lot more to just go away. But in any case, you're "terminated" without cause.

Now, some people say, he should get a lawyer, some people say, he should take the money and move on.

This is a company with which all of you are familiar, non-unionized.

-jM
A&D
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Depends. There's some formula or other to use that I can't think of at the moment.(like if the payoff is x number of weeks more of salary per year worked.)

Also depends for the friend if they feel it's worth bringing on all of that negative energy. Can always consult with a lawyer and find out what the payoff might be if they don't sign it and pursue legal means.
 

Liability

TRIBE Member
Depends. There's some formula or other to use that I can't think of at the moment.(like if the payoff is x number of weeks more of salary per year worked.)

Also depends for the friend if they feel it's worth bringing on all of that negative energy. Can always consult with a lawyer and find out what the payoff might be if they don't sign it and pursue legal means.
The standard 'shut-up' amount is 2-4 weeks per year depending on seniority and level of person being let go.

A lawyer can be worth it depending on the potential pay-out and current salary of the individual, however, lawyer fees are going to suck up a large percentage of any pay out.

Threatening a lawyer can also be used as a bargaining chip to increase the offered pay out.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
The standard 'shut-up' amount is 2-4 weeks per year depending on seniority and level of person being let go.

A lawyer can be worth it depending on the potential pay-out and current salary of the individual, however, lawyer fees are going to suck up a large percentage of any pay out.

Threatening a lawyer can also be used as a bargaining chip to increase the offered pay out.
As usual Liability has some great advice, personally (without knowing the entire background) I would retain a lawyer. Companies are quick to point out you are really only entitled to 2 weeks and will try to hammer you into signing off, the stress of the entire situation would make some flinch and agree to less than what they could get.
 

bombthreat23

TRIBE Member
As usual Liability has some great advice, personally (without knowing the entire background) I would retain a lawyer. Companies are quick to point out you are really only entitled to 2 weeks and will try to hammer you into signing off, the stress of the entire situation would make some flinch and agree to less than what they could get.
The employee really has NO recourse in any of this. Believe me I have been through all of this having had to fire a few people in my time. You do not have to give notice or a reason. You can simply say you are not a good fit and poof you are gone. If there is no notice you pay out two weeks for anything under 3 years, and add one week per year above that.

The law is VERY specific and getting a lawyer will cost you in the end.

Also there is no shut up fee, you are entitled to ONLY what is listed below. If they are offering you more get it while you can cause your lawyer won't get you a dime more. The law is very clear and NO notice or reason ever has to be give to fire someone.

you can read all about it here....

Termination pay
 
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kyfe

TRIBE Member
^^^ for a fact I am going to 100% disagree with you (not how the law is written but how you are not necessarily limited by the law)

Like anything else it's a negotiation, I was offered 7 weeks for a company I worked for 6 years, hired a lawyer and ended up with 8 months.
 

stryker

TRIBE Member
The employee really has NO recourse in any of this. Believe me I have been through all of this having had to fire a few people in my time. You do not have to give notice or a reason. You can simply say you are not a good fit and poof you are gone. If there is no notice you pay out two weeks for anything under 3 years, and add one week per year above that.

The law is VERY specific and getting a lawyer will cost you in the end.

Also there is no shut up fee, you are entitled to ONLY what is listed below. If they are offering you more get it while you can cause your lawyer won't get you a dime more. The law is very clear and NO notice or reason ever has to be give to fire someone.

you can read all about it here....

Termination pay
This.

The whole "they have to give you notice, or written warnings, or whatever" is nonsense. As long as they pay you the minimum by law which is two weeks (after your probation) for less than 3 years of work and an incremental for more than 3 years. They might have more of a case if they've been there for ages, but if it's less than 3 years the chances are slim.

He/she can go to a lawyer but that'll cost a fortune and unless it's something like getting fired after telling a boss that your pregnant, your friend has no recourse. Begin the EI process and fill out the fired unjustly forms.. Service Canada will begin an investigation a after the last pay period and processing time It used to be pretty easy to get EI after getting fired but they may have changed under the Harper Government.

stew
 

bombthreat23

TRIBE Member
^^^ for a fact I am going to 100% disagree with you (not how the law is written but how you are not necessarily limited by the law)

Like anything else it's a negotiation, I was offered 7 weeks for a company I worked for 6 years, hired a lawyer and ended up with 8 months.
Your company was nice, there is no way at all you would have won if this went to court. They just didn't care enough over two weeks pay.
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
there is a lot of incorrect information in this thread.

in ontario, the Employment Standards Act ("ESA") is the governing piece of legislation. an employee that is terminated "without cause" is entitled to notice/severance based on two standards: statute (meaning the ESA) and common law.

the link that bombthreat posted above sets out the ESA statutory minimum standard only.

it is quite common for a company to offer a terminated employee the following choice: (i) take the ESA minimum or (ii) sign a release in favour of the company and take a larger amount.

the amount that one would ultimately be entitled to at common law is based on a number of factors, some of which are not known at the time of termination, such as how long will it actually take the individual to find another job, what steps were taken to mitigate loss, etc.

for this reason, the employer will typically offer the employee who signs a release an amount that is at the lower end (or less than the lower end) of the "common law range".

in order to determine the "common law range" for an employee, one must look at a number of factors, such as the following:

- position, title and description of responsibilities
- annual salary (including details of past bonuses)
- number of direct reports, if any, and details of their duties
- length of time with the company
- age
- how quickly will the person likely find another comparable job (i.e. is the particular market hot or slow)
- circumstances surrounding hire (was he/she induced to leave another position at which he/she had significant tenure)
- details of any previous notices or warnings, if any
- what, if anything, does the employment agreement say about notice/severance entitlements

if you provide answers to all of the above, i will let you know the applicable "common law range" on monday. your friend will then either know that he/she is being offered a fair deal in return for the release or he/she will have some ammunition for negotiating a better deal.
 
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Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
After much discussion, what puzzles us most is the "without cause" clause.

Because, if there were no "cause", then obviously he wouldn't be let go. There must obviously be a cause, however, the company would rather lose easy fruit.

-jM
A&D
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Hey Will, who determines those factors? HR and management I assume?

If so, what if they just let it slide and didn't really do any analysis toward his termination? Does that mean that there's some kind of negligence on the employer's part in regards to adhering to the ESA legislation? For example, what if they just immediately went to the lower end of the range without consulting any of the points you listed above? I feel like it would be easy to prove that they just went with the bottom.
 
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