Being terminated from your job can be one of the most stressful situations you will ever face. Losing your job can go well beyond your self-worth.
Terminated employees often feel the immediate pressure and anxiety of having to continue to support their family into an uncertain future. The responsibility of paying for mounting bills and expenses doesn’t stop just because you lost your job. Often times, the health and medical benefit plans dismissed employees had with their employers are discontinued soon after their termination leaving them and their families to fend for themselves financially.
These medical benefits may be relied upon quite heavily by family members including sick or disabled children or spouses who depend on this coverage for drugs, treatment and other non-OHIP covered therapies.
If you have been recently terminated, so many questions may be running through your mind. For example, what if you’re too old and out of practice to compete with younger more energetic people in a competitive job market? What if the economy is too slow for you to obtain that high-level role you just held for years? As an example, being terminated in the midst of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic can mean that you may be off work for a very long time.
To add insult to injury, employers will often do everything in their power to pay you a time limited severance offer that in actuality may be much less than what you would be entitled to at law. You of course may see this as an opportunity to take much needed money. However, accepting this offer quickly and signing off on the severance package without seeking legal advice can be one of your greatest mistakes.
Even worse, sometimes employers will offer nothing alleging that they had “just cause” to fire you. Don’t let them persuade you that you have no rights. Alleging “just cause” is a very difficult thing to prove in most cases.
The importance of obtaining legal advice cannot be understated. Once you sign off on any severance, you will surrender your legal rights to pursue a claim against your employer in the future once you realize that you may have been entitled to a lot more money.
For a reasonable charge, an employment lawyer can thoroughly review your employment agreement, as well as your severance offer and provide advice as to whether the severance package or termination is fair or not. In some cases, people are offered a small fraction of what they are actually entitled to and this legal review can be well worth it for that alone.
Working with an employment lawyer to review your severance package, negotiate a fair deal or pursue a legal claim on your behalf can be very helpful in getting the money you are owed.
The majority of terminated employees will sign off on a severance offer without seeking legal advice. They assume their former employers are being honest with them and telling them that what is offered is fair and legal. In most cases, it’s just not.
If you have any questions about your employment termination or severance package, contact us and we will be pleased to discuss your situation further