Why Should You Negotiate a Severance Package in a Mass Layoff?

Sep 19, 2022

With recent mass layoffs in Canada, many workers are frustrated in trying to learn how to protect their legal rights while facing dismissal.  A separation from the team you have served for years could be stressful.  But it is crucial to negotiate a severance package in a mass layoff based on your individual entitlements.  

It is common to see employers only pay the statutory minimum severance to terminated employees.  However, you may be entitled to more than that under common law (based on past court decisions).  Under common law, a severance package can be determined by factors such as tenure, age, position, and ability to find a new job.  Your employer may be able to provide more severance for you than others if you are older, hold a position that requires specialized knowledge in a niche area, or have circumstances leading to difficulties in finding alternative employment.  

Severance Package is more than just base salary

Beyond base salary, you may be entitled to commissions you have earned or accrued during employment and the notice period, depending on your employment contract.  Also, people have different priorities over benefits such as stock options, health insurance coverage, or a positive reference letter so that they may trade off one with another.  In most cases, it is worth it to negotiate with your employer to get a win-win solution.  After all, the employer would rather you sign the termination letter with consideration than come back later with a lawsuit on wrongful dismissal.

 A severance package in a mass layoff is not just about money.  Sometimes, people just want to ensure they have a fair and decent offer to say farewell to the past and have a fresh start.  To better understand your workplace rights and explore the viability of your severance and dismissal claim, we encourage you to seek legal advice.  Whitten & Lublin are happy 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’s team of leading lawyers can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.  

Author: Luna Li


 

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