What Steps to Take if Fired?

What Steps to Take if Fired From a Major Company
Daniel Lublin hosted a live chat on the Globe and Mail’s Career section, where he answered legal questions regarding severance, termination notice, contract clauses and much more.  We will be posting some of the questions and answers he gave, the first concerning what to do if you have been fired.
Every day we hear about mass layoffs from major companies and for that reason most readers wanted to know more about their severance entitlements. Daniel Lublin recommends what steps to take if fired:
1. Notice of Layoff in Writing
Always get a notice of layoff in writing – ”termination package”. It is a contract that contains various terms and details about the separation, assuming the layoff is not temporary.
2. Do Not Sign Documents on the Spot
Do not sign any document on the spot. You should be given a reasonable period of time to have it reviewed by someone who is knowledgeable on workplace/employment law.
3. Does the Company Owe You Unconditionally?
You should obtain advice about whether and how much money the company owes you unconditionally. This is referred to as your “statutory severance”. However, it is not all you should receive. You are also generally entitled to a separate and larger amount of severance, which is based on your age, tenure and position.
4. Ask for Advice
You have to match up what the company is offering you versus what is fair in the circumstances. Get good advice. Often times, especially with mass layoffs, companies try to get a big discount from people. But that is not always fair and they may be entitled to much more than what was offered.