At this time of the year everyone is imbibed with that holiday spirit, everyone, that is, except large corporate employers. Like the Grinch that stole Christmas, since my recent memory, employers have always chosen the 6 weeks before the end of December to send out a tidal wave of those pink slips, more than any other period in the calendar year.
Two theories abound. The benevolent view is that many large-scale employers plan their fiscal housekeeping around the last quarter. Accordingly, they want to let restructured employees know where they stand before they start blowing the budget with expensive gift-giving for the holidays. The cynical view, shared by many employment lawyers, is that the terminations are timed to avoid the payment of year-end bonuses. Mostly, the decisions are made for financial reasons which do not factor in the Christmas spirit one way or another. Whatever the true intentions are, receiving a termination notice during the festive season is particularly hurtful and alienating. It is like knowing that a party is going on but you were not invited.
No matter the time of year, in Canada, employees are protected from income loss arising out of any termination without cause. In addition to the provincial minimum labour employment standards, entitlements to severance and compensation for loss of benefits must be provided based on age, length of service and the character of employment. Furthermore, a bonus that was earned by work performed during the year must be paid out whether the employee is there on December 31″, or not.
Anyone affected by these ill-timed and insensitive decisions should immediately contact an employment lawyer to find out what they are entitled to under our law. At Lecker & Associates, we are not Santa Clause, but we will empower you to get what is fair and ensure one less worry in the New Year.
Employee Rights & Entitlements
We cannot stand in for Santa Claus this time of year. However, we can help if you require clarity about your employment status or are unexpectedly terminated from your employment. We will review your compensation package to ensure it is fair. And if not, we are well equipped to represent your rights to get your full entitlements for you, from your employer.
We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.
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