Employment Law

Aurora Cannabis closes Sky production facility in Edmonton

Aurora Cannabis closes facility in Edmonton, but will keep headquarters open, aurora cannabis

On May 12, 2022 Aurora Cannabis announced the closure of its Sky facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The company had significant financial struggles in their most recent quarter, reporting over $1 billion net loss. The marijuana producer said they plan to keep the headquarters office open in Edmonton.

Aurora Cannabis said they will be shutting down operations at the Sky facility in phases, but plan to have complete closure by the end of September. The closing of the Aurora Sky Cannabis facility is expected to impact 13 per cent of the company’s entire global workforce. 

Aurora spokesperson, Michelle Lefler, said “this decision was not taken lightly. The company continues to make tough yet responsible changes to optimize our business to meet the challenges and opportunities of the cannabis industry and position Aurora for long term global success.”

Back in March of this year, Aurora Cannabis also announced the closure of another facility located 45 kilometres southeast of Kamloops, B.C. The company has closed a total of eight facilities across Canada since the start of the coronavirus outbreak

Other companies in Canada’s cannabis industry have participated in mass layoffs this year as well.

If you are an employee at Aurora Cannabis who is being affected by this closure, you have employment rights and may be entitled to full severance pay

Severance Pay Facts

Aurora Cannabis employees in Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta who have been laid off or terminated have employment rights, especially concerning the severance pay they are owed.

Severance packages for Aurora Cannabis workers
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All non-unionized employees should consult with an employment lawyer to understand their entitlements to severance pay if they have been let go from their position as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A company cannot “suspend” their legal obligations due to the current coronavirus outbreak.

If a non-unionized employee is let go from their job, they must be provided with the proper amount of severance pay.

Many companies may assume that their employees are largely unaware of their own employment rights, whether under a provincial legislation or common law. On the other hand, it is also quite plausible that employers are legitimately unaware of their obligations to workers during the termination process.

How to properly calculate severance pay

Another common misconception concerns how severance pay is calculated. Many believe that severance pay is comprised of a week or two weeks for every year of service an employee has with the company. While this formula does hold true when determining an individual’s MINIMUM severance pay amounts, they are often entitled to more.

Most workplaces in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta are governed by their respective Employment Standards legislation. These rules set the least amount of compensation that an employee should receive when let go from their job.

When reviewing a person’s complete severance package entitlements, it is crucial to do so using “common law” methods. Our court system determines what compensation a worker should receive once they have lost their job. For non-unionized employees, the main factors of termination pay are age, length of service, position, and ability to find new work. When considering all of these factors, an employee could be entitled to up to 24 months of severance pay. 

Use our helpful Severance Pay Calculator to determine your severance pay range. A consultation with an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP will help you understand your rights, and get the compensation you deserve.

Fired? Lost your job?

Talk to an employment lawyer immediately to find out what your rights are - and how much severance you are owed.

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