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Employment Law: Employees > Severance Packages/Severance Pay

Losing your job may leave you shocked by the termination and anxious about the future, and feeling a great deal of pressure.

If you are wrongfully or constructively dismissed, you deserve compensation. Your employer may offer you a compensation package and give you a few days to look it over before accepting it. It may include termination/severance pay, a reference letter, continued medical and dental benefits, participation in stock option and profit-sharing plans, and other possible benefits.

It’s vital to get legal advice before signing. Accepting usually requires you to give up the right to ask anything else of your employer, or begin proceedings against him or her.

Employers sometimes offer severance packages that are actually less than the minimum the terminated employee is entitled to under the law. Sometimes the package is intended only as the opening round of a negotiation, but many employees believe they must take it now, as-is, or be left penniless.

At Vice & Hunter LLP, our employment lawyers can help you understand what you are worth, what your rights are, and how to get the compensation you deserve.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

When negotiating your severance package, a number of factors are considered, such as your length of service and existing salary, benefits and bonuses. We may also take into account your age, your education, the position held and the likelihood of getting a similar job in the future.

If we cannot reach an agreement, your case may go before a court or tribunal, which will take into account the same factors.

Other factors considered may include:

  • Inducement: If you were convinced to leave a previous job for one which quickly let you go, you may be able to get extra compensation, especially if your previous position was very stable and you were not looking for a new job.
  • Bad faith: If you were fired in a particularly cruel manner, harassed or lied to by your employer, extra compensation may be required.
  • Duty to mitigate: You must show that you are actively looking for another job.
  • Wilful misconduct by the employee: This is more than simply not doing a good job, but involves being deliberately and recklessly negligent or disobedient. If proven, it may reduce your compensation.

Contact Vice & Hunter LLP

If you have been fired in Ottawa or surrounding parts of Ontario, let us help you fight for what you deserve. Call us at 613-701-0898 or 866-252-0670 toll-free or fill out our online form below