T’is the Season to be Fired 2023!

During this festive season, an air of holiday cheer envelops everyone—everyone, that is, except for the Grinch-like demeanor exhibited by large corporate employers. In a recurring pattern etched in recent memory, the slips akin to the Grinch stealing Christmas.

Two theories attempt to explain this phenomenon. The optimists say that big employers strategically align fiscal housekeeping within the final quarter; informing restructured employees prior to any holiday gift-giving. On the other hand, the pessimists, insist that these December dismissals are opportunistic maneuvering to also circumvent year-end bonus payouts. 

Ultimately, the decisions driven primarily by financial considerations, seem to disregard the essence of the Christmas and holiday spirit. Receiving news you have lost your job amid the winter festive season feels particularly harsh and bruising—like knowing there’s a celebration happening, but you’re not invited.

Regardless of the season, Canadians are protected against dismissals timed before paying year end bonuses. In addition to provincial minimum individual employment standards (n.b. but not unions, who must speak to their union rep.), entitlements to severance and compensation for loss of benefits are mandated based on age, length of service, and the nature of employment. Earned or partially-earned bonuses for work performed during the year may be paid during your severance. If you were dismissed from your work around Q4 September to December, you may have earned a portion of your year end bonus upon the end of employment.  


Layoffs & Terminations are Different

Layoffs & Terminations are Different

Legally, layoffs differ from terminations, each carrying distinct rights and entitlements. Layoff is meant to be temporary: you have a record of employment indicating you will be recalled on a certain date and your benefits are being continued. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced ambiguity, allowing some employers to tread the fine line between the two without benefit to workers. If you have been laid off from work for more than or less than 13 weeks, we urge you to consult an employment lawyer as you may have rights to claim a constructive dismissal. This article discusses when you have been dismissed before year end. 


Employee Rights & Entitlements

Being suddenly dismissed before the start of the new year almost always leave employees shell-shocked. While this reaction is understandable, it should not impede your pursuit of full entitlements as a terminated employee. Understanding the complexities of this area of law to determine whether your employer has compensated you fairly might be challenging. 

Some employers may count on this lack of understanding, making it crucial for you to exercise your right to seek legal advice. We are a well-respected law firm that has been practicing successfully for over 40 years. Refrain from succumbing to unreasonable deadlines, which are unenforceable, and avoid signing a severance package release until a lawyer has vetted your documents.


Contact Our Law Firm 

Individuals affected by these untimely and unfortunate decisions are urged to consult with an employment lawyer as soon as possible to understand their full severance under the law. At Lecker & Associates, we empower you to secure what is fair. Contact us.