Q: I've received the severance required by the Employment Standards Act, am I entitled to anything more?
A: Most employees in British Columbia are also entitled to "reasonable notice" pursuant to the common law. This entitlement is determined in the Supreme Court (or Small Claims Court for claims under $25,000). Common law reasonable notice is generally more than the minimums set out in the Employment Standards Act and is influenced by a number of factors including your agreed length of service and the nature of your job. Termination without reasonable notice is commonly known as "wrongful dismissal".
Q: How much does it cost to challenge an employer's severance package?
A: Sometimes after an initial consultation where I explain your rights and options, you are able to negotiate a fair severance directly with your employer. Other times, a formal demand letter is required. Often, an employer will require you to take steps in the litigation process before a settlement can be reached. In unusual situations, you will be forced to go to Court to secure a fair disposition. No two cases are the same so it is impossible to predict, at the outset, how much will be involved. I will work with you to set reasonable budgets for each step to ensure the the legal fees are a reasonable expenditure compared to the desired outcome.
Q: How long does it take?
A: It depends on how far into the process we have to go to achieve your desired outcome. There are procedures in the Rules of Court which allow for expedited proceedings in which case you could be in trial in as little as 5-6 months following termination. Not every case falls within these Rules but many wrongful dismissal cases do.
Q: My employer is pressuring me to sign something quickly, what do I do?
A: In most situations, if an employer is pressuring you to sign something quickly, it is because it is in their, and not your best interest. You should seek legal advice before you sign anything. It is contrary to the Employment Standards Act to require you to sign something in order to receive your Employment Standards severance pay.
Articles Written by Employment Lawyer, Chris ForgusonWrongful Dismissal Case Ends with 27-Months of Salary Continuance
Ontario court Awards 27-month notice period paid by salary continuance due to wrongful dismissal.Evolving Role Of Trust in Employment Law
Employees always had to earn and maintain the trust of her employer but what about an employers trustworthiness.Employment Termination Checklist
If you think you will soon be dismissed or fired then use of this handy checklist.It will ensure you get what you will need before you are let go and do it in the most favourable terms to you.What If I (can) Get Another Job Right Away? - Severance Mitigation
What happens if you can get a job while your severance is taking place? Do I have to accept a job if I am offered it? Chris covers some of these questions involving severance mitigation.What is an employment lawyer and other common questions.
This is a collection of questions which I get asked as an employment lawyer. Most of the answers are fairly simple and if you require a more thorough answer then it is best to contact me directly.What Constitutes wrongful dismissal in BC?
People are oftened confused about what their employment rights are when they have been fire or laid off. Here I cover some of the questions you may have about wrongful dismissal, if you have been given reasonable notice and if you should contact a lawyer about a possible case.Restrictive Covenants and the Evolving Law of Severance in Canada
This article may be a bit technical but in it I cover what notional severance is and how it may affect Canadian employment law in the future.How Employment Law Relates To Blogging
This article is somewhat old but relates to blogging within the workplace. It has suggestions for employees as well as how employers can protect themselves by creating clear policies surrounding social media.