By Alyssa Minsky

The Canadian telecommunications equipment maker, Nortel Networks, has recently sold it's Enterprise Division. Located primarily in Ottawa and Belleville, Ontario, the division was sold to winning bidder Avaya Inc., a U.S. based company for a reported $900 million (USD). The deal is scheduled to close in December of this year.

Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection in January of this year after sales plummeted. Over the past months, Nortel has laid off more than 5000 employees. As a result, the company is auctioning its "parts", including the Enterprise division.

Currently comprised of 1000 employees, this unit faces the potential for further layoffs, which will likely be decided within the next month. The exact number of layoffs remains unknown at this stage. Some speculators have put the figure at 75%.

Those who have been subject to layoffs should seek employment counsel to discuss their legal rights and options. Temporary layoffs often turn into permanent layoffs (both of which can be considered terminations), if this occurs an employee may be entitled to severance pay.

Alyssa Minsky is a lawyer at Whitten & Lublin LLP, an employment law firm providing counsel to both employees and employers on workplace matters. Alyssa can be reached at alyssa@whittenlublin.com.