T’is the Season to be Fired 2022!

T’is the Season to be Fired 2021! | The Grinch menacingly looking out from behind a sigh that says yeah, happy holidsays & all

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

Assessing Your Severance Package

Ontario's employment laws - Employers Beware!
Termination notices almost always leave employees shell shocked. While this reaction is understandable, it should not stand in your way of receiving full entitlements as a terminated employee. You may not understand the intricacies of the law to determine whether your employer has compensated you fairly. Indeed, some will count on this. This is why you must exercise your right to seek legal advice. Do not let unreasonable deadlines, which are not enforceable, drive you into making hasty decisions. Never sign a severance package release until a lawyer has vetted your documents.  

Layoffs & Terminations are Different

Layoffs & Terminations | COVID-19
Legally, layoffs differ from terminations, along with your rights and entitlements. The COVID-19 pandemic has created ambiguity that allows some employers to walk the fine line between the two with no benefit to workers. This blog will help you understand the legal principles between the two and you should consult a lawyer if you have questions about your specific situation.

Illegal Layoffs

Illegal Layoffs
Employers cannot place employees on illegal layoffs. Unfortunately, the pandemic has encouraged unscrupulous employers to go about this unpleasant business shamelessly. What appears to fuel their audacity is the fact that employees often inadequately understand their rights. If your employer has indicated there is insufficient work to recall you, but business is booming with a new crew at the helm, contact us right away.

Unsafe Working Conditions

Right To Refuse Unsafe Work
Ontario’s workplace health and safety laws adequately cover what COVID-19 has brought into workplaces. Employees simply need to adapt and adjust to new working conditions so everyone remains safe at work. While specific measures differ by sector, your employer may require you to wear personal protective equipment, disinfect surfaces, and maintain physical distancing. Here is what all employees should know about this matter.

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.

Lecker & Associates are employment and disability benefits lawyers.  We primarily represent employees of Ontario and have been practising this area of law for over 35 years.

We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.

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