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Being terminated, need advice

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  • Aug 16th, 2017 6:33 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Aug 9, 2017
4 posts

Being terminated, need advice

Okay, here goes! I've been working for the same company for over 10 years and they will terminate my employment within the next couple of days - that is a given. I have a lot of questions, and I'm kind of shell shocked (and embarrassed) right now, so I'm trying to prepare for the meeting when it happens as well as look for alternative employment as soon as possible.

I'm looking at a few websites explaining severance and termination, but if there are any websites that can be recommended, that would be appreciated.

First few questions:
If I'm terminated, are they required to pay both severance and termination pay?

I read on a website that an employee is entitled to severance pay if employed more than 5 years AND the employer has a payroll of at least $2.5 million, which I have no way of knowing for sure, but I highly doubt they have payroll of at least $2.5 million. Does this mean that I'm not entitled to severance pay?

Also, I read this: 'it is the employer’s option of whether to provide working notice or termination pay'. So they could tell me I have 8 weeks notice, so no termination pay?

If I'm given written/working notice of termination for 8 weeks (since I've been employed there for over 10 years), should I stay for those 8 weeks?
Related question: If I resign, giving two weeks notice, I am not entitled to severance pay, is that correct? I ask this question, because I will be too embarrassed to show up at the office after being served a termination notice.

Any help, words of advice, steps to take, are welcome. I'll update this post with more questions as they come to me, as well as what happens in regards to 'the meeting'.

Thanks!
39 replies
Member
Jan 10, 2017
204 posts
89 upvotes
cmaatos wrote:
Aug 10th, 2017 6:10 pm
Okay, here goes! I've been working for the same company for over 10 years and they will terminate my employment within the next couple of days - that is a given. I have a lot of questions, and I'm kind of shell shocked (and embarrassed) right now, so I'm trying to prepare for the meeting when it happens as well as look for alternative employment as soon as possible.

I'm looking at a few websites explaining severance and termination, but if there are any websites that can be recommended, that would be appreciated.

First few questions:
If I'm terminated, are they required to pay both severance and termination pay?

I read on a website that an employee is entitled to severance pay if employed more than 5 years AND the employer has a payroll of at least $2.5 million, which I have no way of knowing for sure, but I highly doubt they have payroll of at least $2.5 million. Does this mean that I'm not entitled to severance pay?

Also, I read this: 'it is the employer’s option of whether to provide working notice or termination pay'. So they could tell me I have 8 weeks notice, so no termination pay?

If I'm given written/working notice of termination for 8 weeks (since I've been employed there for over 10 years), should I stay for those 8 weeks?
Related question: If I resign, giving two weeks notice, I am not entitled to severance pay, is that correct? I ask this question, because I will be too embarrassed to show up at the office after being served a termination notice.

Any help, words of advice, steps to take, are welcome. I'll update this post with more questions as they come to me, as well as what happens in regards to 'the meeting'.

Thanks!
Focusing on severance is the wrong approach. Why are you not focusing on building a list of solid references, updating your resume, networking, and beginning the job search process?

Now is the time to start job search - you need to be proactive about this.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1648 posts
167 upvotes
Canada
what is the reason for termination? do they have a solid case against you?
Deal Addict
Oct 16, 2013
1852 posts
422 upvotes
Toronto
Remember you don't have to sign the severance papers right there, you legally can ask for time to consult expert opinion. You can always that the free consults with an employment lawyer to see what are your opinions. Its too early to tell.
Sr. Member
Mar 6, 2010
668 posts
68 upvotes
To answer question 1) yes, since you have worked for 10 years with same company, provincial code minimum requirement is 8 weeks pay or notice. Common law typical permits one month severance per year of service. Do not sign anything without a 10 months severance in mind.
2) In minimum standard, employer does not violate the code if they serve you an 8 weeks notice and let you work for 8weeks, however, you can always negotiate first, then find an employee lawyer to file a severance demand letter (typical $500, can be covered by employer), your last choice is going to court to award your 10 months severance, you have been in the company for 10 years, it is very likely judge will award you the compensation.
Last, do not resign, it will void both your severance and EI.
If employer terminate your service based on violation of some practice code (fire in this case), then it is a different story)
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 9, 2017
4 posts
Thank you for all the replies so far; I'm in panic mode, so my questions may be all over the place right now, as is my mind. I've been working at my current position for over 10 years, so keeping on top of my resume/networking, etc. was never a priority. I take full responsibility for that.

I'm sorting out references and have started looking at various opportunities.

The reason my employment is being terminated is because I upset the wrong people, to put it bluntly. I do not know how this will ultimately play out of course, however, due to the amount of severance that would be owed and knowing management (see reason above) I think they will terminate with cause. I'm asking here about severance and termination pay, because I've never been in this situation before and wanted to be prepared for all outcomes. I will not be thinking clearly during the termination meeting, and want to have as much information top of mind as possible.

If they terminate me with cause (fire me) what are my options? Please just lay it out - I need to know the simple, harsh truth. Recourse, no recourse? I likely would not have any legal options, since I do not have much savings to fall back on. It would be their word against mine.

I hear you: I will not resign if given notice. I will not sign anything until I've had a chance to read it through - is it typical for employers to request that I read and sign the document (termination with/without cause) before leaving the meeting? Is it reasonable for me to request that I be able to take the document home and review it?

Thank you for taking the time to reply. You have no idea how much this helps during an extremely stressful situation. I will post questions as they come up and try to update my situation as it develops.
Sr. Member
Nov 18, 2015
608 posts
409 upvotes
Unionville, ON
You should give this person a call "Lior Samfiru", and he an Employment Lawyer... I hear him all the time on AM640 and should be able to answer all your questions / inquiries....
*use that name to google his #
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
4952 posts
2449 upvotes
Edmonton
Any company can terminate you with or without cause. So there's no recourse for you there to fight the termination.

Second, for a company to terminate you with cause (and not get nailed in a wrongful dismissal suit), the onus is on them to prove that cause. That's why, in many cases, companies would rather dismiss someone without cause and pay severance instead of trying to save a few bucks. Googling "Terminated with cause Canada", you'll get a number of links that describe the difficulty employers have trying to prove that. Especially if there's not a documented history of warnings and remedial actions.

http://employmentlaw101.ca/01-overview- ... for-cause/
http://employmentlaw101.ca/01-overview- ... out-cause/
http://www.carters.ca/pub/bulletin/char ... ylb175.htm

And yes, you should carefully review any documentation before signing it. If they want to send you home for the day/weekend/whatever to think about it before you sign, then so be it. But it's probably not going to be in your favor to sign the first piece of paper they throw at you.

C
Member
May 14, 2013
323 posts
234 upvotes
Edmonton
cmaatos wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 3:18 pm

The reason my employment is being terminated is because I upset the wrong people, to put it bluntly. I do not know how this will ultimately play out of course, however, due to the amount of severance that would be owed and knowing management (see reason above) I think they will terminate with cause. I'm asking here about severance and termination pay, because I've never been in this situation before and wanted to be prepared for all outcomes. I will not be thinking clearly during the termination meeting, and want to have as much information top of mind as possible.
Sorry but this is not the typical "layoff" situation where several posters have indicated your eligibility for severance pay. In the event you are fired, as in "Terminated with cause", you are not entitled to severance. Severance pay is only applicable when the employee is in good standing and was terminated for reasons out of their control. For example, if your employer no longer had enough work for you to justify your employment, this is a layoff and you would 100% be entitled to severance. In your case, you did something seriously wrong. Something that goes against the business's policies and/or values, so they have the absolute right to terminate you based on your behavior/activity. If your employer has a solid justification, they will most definitely fire you, as they will not have any issues with you coming back at them. If they have a weak case, then they will go the layoff route to get rid of you quietly.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
16315 posts
4952 upvotes
Ottawa
In ON, an employer can layoff employees via "working notice" and only pay out a severance or two weeks paid in lieu + plus severance.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 31, 2006
4401 posts
476 upvotes
Toronto
vkizzle wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 4:14 pm
In ON, an employer can layoff employees via "working notice" and only pay out a severance or two weeks paid in lieu + plus severance.
You are correct but as Op's mention he/she offended someone in the management position. So, there might be 2 options for the employer, terminate Op's with a cause or just give Op's severance pay. What is not clear what position is the person that Op's offended. Manager? supervisor?
Sr. Member
Feb 16, 2013
547 posts
587 upvotes
Toronto
Start stealing office supplies today. Today.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
16315 posts
4952 upvotes
Ottawa
cgtlky wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 7:09 pm
You are correct but as Op's mention he/she offended someone in the management position. So, there might be 2 options for the employer, terminate Op's with a cause or just give Op's severance pay. What is not clear what position is the person that Op's offended. Manager? supervisor?
This is not a one time occurrence.
OP is definitely not telling the whole story.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
36791 posts
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Toronto
Sociology1 wrote:
Aug 11th, 2017 12:05 pm
Focusing on severance is the wrong approach. Why are you not focusing on building a list of solid references, updating your resume, networking, and beginning the job search process?

Now is the time to start job search - you need to be proactive about this.
He should for sure dedicate a small bit of time to knowing his rights. As anyone should.
It doesn't hurt to negotiate or seek the highest amount of compensation so you have have that money + whatever E.I. To told you over till you get a new job.

What you said is a given.. I'm sure any rational human being is going to plan to find another job. RAther than depend on a severance to survive... ITs just icing on the cake.
[OP]
Newbie
Aug 9, 2017
4 posts
Want to be clear, I'm not trying to determine who is to blame for my situation. My main focus is to figure out the process, whichever way it ends up going. In the meantime I am looking at and applying to similar opportunities within several hours driving distance. They say when one door closes, another opens.

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