Temporary Layoffs

A temporary layoff may result in the termination of your employment

A temporary layoff is generally not something your employer has the right to impose on you. Here is what you need to know about temporary layoffs, your rights, and when your employer may have the right to place you on temporary layoff.

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What is a temporary layoff?

Sometimes employers will ask or tell you to remain off work, without pay, for a certain amount of time. The company may claim that you are not technically fired but rather your employment is placed temporarily “on hold”.

You may be entitled to claim damages if your employer has placed you on a temporary layoff.

Why do I need an employment lawyer if I have been temporary laid off?

If you are not part of a union and you are placed on a temporary layoff, there are several potential outcomes under Canadian law. Depending on the facts, you may be able to claim a severance package or lost wages during the period of your layoff.
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Does your employer ever have the right to place you on a temporary layoff?

Occasionally. There are a few limited situations where your employer may have the right to place you on a temporary layoff:

Scenario 1

You agreed you could be placed on a layoff in your employment contract

If you have a contract that permits a temporary layoff, then this may give your employer the right to lay you off without pay. Even then, not all contracts comply with provincial or federal labour employment legislation and the contract may be drafted or signed under circumstances where it would not be valid.

Man looking at laptop and holding glasses between his fingers

Scenario 2

You consent to the temporary layoff

Sometimes you may decide to condone the layoff. However, this is an important decision, and you should only consent to a temporary layoff after you fully understand your potential rights and entitlements. Sometimes, you can choose not to fight the layoff at the time it occurs and to wait and then see how things unfold later. In this situation, it is still important to communicate your stance to
your employer.

Scenario 3

Temporary layoffs are common in your industry, or you have previously been laid off temporarily

If you have previously condoned layoffs or if layoffs are so common in your industry that you should expect they will regularly occur, then you may not have the right to challenge a layoff if and when it occurs to you.

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How can the employment lawyers at Whitten & Lublin
assist if you are placed on a temporary layoff?

Our lawyers will be able to determine whether your employer even has the right to place you on a layoff and if not, we will help you to get clarity and control of your matter by explaining the options you should consider ensuring that your legal rights are protected. Oftentimes in this scenario you will need an employment lawyer to advocate on your behalf or to pursue a claim for damages.

If you find yourself in this situation, you can count on the employment lawyers at Whitten & Lublin to be in your corner. We regularly assist workers who are faced with temporary layoff scenarios.

Your employment
is our specialty

In need of legal advice? We are committed to treating your case with the care, dedication, and compassion that you deserve. Contact us to learn how we can help you understand and resolve your workplace legal matter.

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