Notice and Severance for CIBC Employees | By Simon Pelsmakher, Employment Lawyer, B.A. (Hons.), J.D.
According to the Canadian Bankers Association, Canadian banks employ over a quarter of a million people across the country. The sector contributes significantly to the labour market and remains extremely profitable. CIBC, a major player in the sector, declared a profit of $1.4 billion last quarter. Yet, incredibly, their CEO, Victor Dodig, suggested their efficiency ratio was too high and announced significant job cuts last week. It was enough to leave anyone reeling and wondering about the rights of the employees who helped the bank successfully rake in those profits, in the first place. If this announcement impacts you directly, then here is information about notice and severance pay for CIBC employees.
Canada Labour Code
The Canada Labour Code (CLC) governs the employment standards for federally regulated employees. This includes individuals working in transportation, shipping, broadcasting, mining, fisheries and yes, banking, to name a few. CIBC employees should rest assured that the law remains firmly on your side. Your employer cannot terminate your employment so easily. On July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) delivered a landmark ruling in the case, Wilson v. Atomic Energy Of Canada. It made a firing without cause illegal in federally regulated industries. This substantially advanced the rights of federal employees and CIBC employees remain protected by it.
The SCC ruling ensured that federally regulated employers, like CIBC, can only let employees go under very narrow circumstances. First, they can fire you for cause, i.e., due to insubordination, violence, theft or other such reasons. And secondly, they can do so for a genuine redundancy. Examples include rolling out ATMs in branches to replace tellers. The law does not allow CIBC to terminate your employment for any other reason.
Is your Firing Legal?
David Dodig says “CIBC is continuing to identify opportunities to simplify our bank and work differently, including streamlining decision-making.”
So what does this mean in practical terms for a CIBC employee? The first thing we need to determine is whether your firing is legal. The CLC permits those employed for more than 12 months in non-managerial roles, to file an unjust dismissal complaint. Under this process, you could qualify for reinstatement back to your position, with back-pay in wages, if the adjudicator determines it was illegal.
Furthermore, if the circumstances meet the narrow provisions of the CLC, as described above, the law outlines the minimum termination guidelines your employer must follow. This includes 14 days’ notice of dismissal and additional severance pay of two days per year of service. In many cases, however, employees are entitled to substantially more than the minimum. Let us determine if this applies to you.
Calculating Notice and Severance Pay for CIBC Employees
Your termination documents are very important. They represent the financial bridge that will tide you over until you land your next job. It is crucial to take a good hard look at the papers to ensure you do not leave money behind. We advise anyone who has received termination papers not to sign them without getting a legal opinion. If your employer has tied your offer to a deadline, contact us as soon as possible. Rest assured that the law affords you up to 90 days to file a claim, and this consultation will arm you with perspective to make informed decisions about your severance package.
Your severance should be calculated on your entire compensation package. Consequently, it must include the value of medical benefits and bonuses if they were part of your employment contract. Do not assume your employer will take these factors into consideration. Indeed, they might count on you not knowing your rights. Furthermore, if you were harassed, bullied or treated unfairly at any point during your employment, including the termination process, then we would put in a claim for extra damages.
Negotiating the Intangibles
And finally, if your skills are no longer in demand in the marketplace, it will take you longer to find a job. You might require retraining or outplacement services. Your severance should reflect this. In many cases, we can successfully negotiate for extra funds to allow you to hire a career coach to help you redefine the next phase of your life.
For over 35 years, our firm has aggressively defended employee rights and we operate with deep expertise in this field. A cornerstone of our practice remains wrongful dismissal cases at both provincial and federal levels. These cases are generally about two factors. Did your employer dismiss you fairly and legally? And if so, did they compensate you adequately for the dismissal? The answers are not always straightforward, and they depend on your individual employment circumstances. We can clarify these matters for you.
About The Author
Simon Pelsmakher is an employment lawyer and a fierce advocate for employee rights at Lecker & Associates. We have proudly represented employees for over 35 years in disputes against their employers. If you are a CIBC employee impacted by the job loss announcement, contact us. A one-hour consultation will allow us to determine if you have received everything the law entitles you to.
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