Q&A: Sears Canada closing stores – what happens to the employees?

Another major retailer, Sears Canada has just announced the closing of their most important location downtown Toronto and 4 others across the country. Close to 1000 employees will be affected, however Sears states they can apply for any other job left at different locations that will not be closing (yet!). Sounds promising, but what if there are no alternative positions available and those employees find themselves jobless? Will they know their rights and entitlements? Will Sears Canada closing stores affect more than just the employees?
Daniel Lublin’s Opinion on Sears Canada Closing Stores
Daniel Lublin was asked his opinion, which was quoted in today’s issue of the Toronto Star:
“Employment lawyer Daniel Lublin said Sears workers may be entitled to more than the minimum severance, especially if they are long term employees who will be unable to find new work. I have seen a number of employers offer employees only their minimum entitlement hoping that people will sign off, happy to get any severance at all. But where the employer does not go bankrupt, this strategy rarely pays off for the company. The courts come down hard on companies offering long-term employees only their minimum severance,” he said.”
Before accepting any lay-off offer given by an employer, it is always a good idea to contact an employment expert who can explain whether that offer outlines, at the very least, the minimum entitlements under the law and how they can be maximized.