What is “reasonable notice of termination” and its significance?
During the current recession, it is important for all employees to be aware of their employment rights, particularly regarding the severance package they can anticipate if their employment is terminated. It is worth noting that in certain situations, your employment contract may unintentionally grant you a severance package that surpasses your initial expectations.
Your employer must provide “reasonable notice of termination,” unless you signed an employment contract that limits you to statutory minimum notice or some other formula, so long as the formula allows for an amount greater or equal to the statutory minimums you are owed.
What are the factors determining the amount of reasonable notice you are entitled to?
Understanding your employment rights entails recognizing that the determination of the reasonable notice period you are entitled to depends on factors such as your age, length of service, the nature of your job, and the availability of comparable employment opportunities. Unlike statutory minimum notice, calculating the appropriate duration of reasonable notice is subjective and lacks a definitive formula. In this context, case law precedent serves as the primary mechanism for establishing reasonable notice entitlements.
Historically, there was a ceiling on the amount of reasonable notice you could receive, at around 24 months’ pay. Recent cases have shown that employees can receive as much as 27 months’ or 30 months’ notice if the right factors are at play. The two main reasons why employees can sometimes obtain more than 24 months’ reasonable notice in court is that their age is such that it merits a greater entitlement and/or there was very little similar employment available. The courts recognize that it is harder for older workers to obtain new employment due to ageism and a perception that older workers will be less flexible and adaptable to a new workplace. Courts recognize that it is harder for these workers, already with employers’ perceptions against them, to obtain similar employment, so if those workers are entering an unusually tough job market, or if they had a very specific job that does not often become available, these factors will lead to these workers being entitled to a longer notice period.
If you have questions about your employment rights, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced employment lawyer. Whitten & Lublin is here to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (647) 946-1276 today.
Author – Carson Healey