Careers

Bargaining over Final Release Letter

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 12th, 2019 12:01 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote

Bargaining over Final Release Letter

After having been verbally abused and intimidated by my supervisor and a project manager in a local startup, I was terminated while working from home and asked to sign a final release letter in exchange for 1-week salary as part of the severance package. The day after, in an e-mail, I asked if they could give me the reason for the termination and a simple reference letter (I was not asking anything else other than facts like dates of employment and title for my archive). The company's response is that they could report whatever termination reason I like and give me a reference letter only if I sign the final release letter.
Is this kind of blackmail legal?
17 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
2510 posts
747 upvotes
Woodbridge
Don't sign anything. How long have you been working there? You may be entitled to more than one week severance.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote
OntEdTchr wrote:
Nov 7th, 2019 4:39 pm
Don't sign anything. How long have you been working there? You may be entitled to more than one week severance.
Just more than 3 months
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote
coriolis wrote:
Nov 7th, 2019 2:51 pm
Contact. A. Lawyer.
I went to see a lawyer before sending my last email about the reference, and he basically told me that in Ontario you can be fired for whatever reason (hair style, personality, etc.)
the employer does not have to justify itself. Lawyer: "Yes this is unfair what happened to you during that period, but an employer can be rude or biased, and if you had talked back, after
they yelled at you, you could have been fired for cause!". $400 Lovely
I guess it's easy to say "just sign" when you are not the one being treated like piece of s..., and I am mulling over about paying another $400...
Last edited by torontokid1 on Nov 7th, 2019 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
2089 posts
849 upvotes
Alberta
torontokid1 wrote:
Nov 7th, 2019 6:25 pm
I went to see a lawyer before sending my last email about the reference, and he basically told me that in Ontario you can be fired for whatever reason (hair style, personality, etc.)
the employer does not have to justify itself. "Yes this is unfair what happened to me during that period, but an employer can be rude or biased, and if I had talked back, after
they yelled at me, I could have been fired for cause". $400 Lovely
I guess it's easy to say "just sign" when you are not the one being treated like piece of s..., and I am mulling over about paying another $400...
I hear ya, however unless you have proof m, verbal abuse is hard to prove. At the moment your emotions are running high, but if you take a step back I don think you will get more than 1 week of severance for 3 months of work. Can you prove abuse? If not then it’s just an opinion and doesn’t really hold any weight in court. You can ask for 2 weeks and see what they say.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
29218 posts
15076 upvotes
Ottawa
Make sure you ask them for an additional 2 weeks in lieu, considering it was an immediate termination.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
8640 posts
1028 upvotes
If reference letter say terminated due to no cause unrelated to performance. So can easily justify why you got let go without negatively affect your next job.
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2010
2284 posts
472 upvotes
Termination should be due to no cause and you should at least get back two weeks of salary.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote
Thanks guys. To clarify,
the company is going to pay what they are required by law to pay, 2 weeks in lieu + vacation pay.
I checked the ROE online today and it said due to "shortage of work".
I guess the additional 1-week is supposed to be released after I sign and waive any rights to sue...
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote
abc123yyz wrote:
Nov 7th, 2019 10:42 pm
I hear ya, however unless you have proof m, verbal abuse is hard to prove. At the moment your emotions are running high, but if you take a step back I don think you will get more than 1 week of severance for 3 months of work. Can you prove abuse? If not then it’s just an opinion and doesn’t really hold any weight in court. You can ask for 2 weeks and see what they say.
My emotions are still running high indeed. I cannot prove everything precisely. However, I think I can prove that the environment was toxic and hostile because of the inability of management to control certain customers and (even certain suppliers) . My point is that this hostile environment was architected by my supervisor who basically caved in and always went for an easy target: me.
Don't know if these could have any weight in court
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
2089 posts
849 upvotes
Alberta
torontokid1 wrote:
Nov 8th, 2019 2:00 pm
My emotions are still running high indeed. I cannot prove everything precisely. However, I think I can prove that the environment was toxic and hostile because of the inability of management to control certain customers and (even certain suppliers) . My point is that this hostile environment was architected by my supervisor who basically caved in and always went for an easy target: me.
Don't know if these could have any weight in court
I get what you are saying, but no, this is not worth the fight. If you were there for 5+ years then it’s different. Even if they rule in your favor (which they wouldn’t) you only worked there 3 months. Best to just move on now.

For the next job just let them know you were let go because they lost some key customers so there was a shortage of work and you being the new hire was let go.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 6, 2019
8 posts
1 upvote
abc123yyz wrote:
Nov 8th, 2019 2:14 pm
I get what you are saying, but no, this is not worth the fight. If you were there for 5+ years then it’s different. Even if they rule in your favor (which they wouldn’t) you only worked there 3 months. Best to just move on now.

For the next job just let them know you were let go because they lost some key customers so there was a shortage of work and you being the new hire was let go.
Ok, ok, nothing can be done. I guess the main takeaway is to not be an employee.
Thank you for the advice.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
5465 posts
932 upvotes
Toronto
torontokid1 wrote:
Nov 7th, 2019 6:25 pm
I went to see a lawyer before sending my last email about the reference, and he basically told me that in Ontario you can be fired for whatever reason (hair style, personality, etc.)
the employer does not have to justify itself. Lawyer: "Yes this is unfair what happened to you during that period, but an employer can be rude or biased, and if you had talked back, after
they yelled at you, you could have been fired for cause!". $400 Lovely
I guess it's easy to say "just sign" when you are not the one being treated like piece of s..., and I am mulling over about paying another $400...
wow $400. What is the percentage of that to your severance pay? 10%? 15%?
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
2159 posts
1100 upvotes
abc123yyz wrote:
Nov 8th, 2019 2:14 pm
I get what you are saying, but no, this is not worth the fight. If you were there for 5+ years then it’s different. Even if they rule in your favor (which they wouldn’t) you only worked there 3 months. Best to just move on now.

For the next job just let them know you were let go because they lost some key customers so there was a shortage of work and you being the new hire was let go.
This is good advice OP. It does suck but at least you're getting out of a toxic environment. Some people spend their whole careers in a toxic environment. Consider yourself lucky

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)