Employment Law

Mississauga’s new mayor fires city manager and CAO

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In a swift and unexpected move, Mississauga’s new mayor, Carolyn Parrish, has terminated the city’s manager and chief administrative officer (CAO), Shari Lichterman, just one day after taking office. Parrish utilized her strong mayor powers to make this change, a decision that has surprised many within the city’s administration.

Lichterman’s termination

On June 25, the day following her swearing-in, Parrish requested a meeting with Lichterman. During this meeting, Lichterman was informed that her employment was being terminated immediately without cause. According to CBC News, this move came as a shock to Lichterman, who had expected to have an opportunity to work with the new mayor.

In response to her termination, Lichterman expressed disappointment, stating, “I was hoping to be given an opportunity to work with her, but clearly, she had already made a decision.” Lichterman also noted that her dismissal left some of her former colleagues “a bit shaken” and raised concerns about the potential politicization of the city’s bureaucracy.

Immediate replacement

Following Lichterman’s termination, Parrish appointed Geoff Wright as the interim city manager and CAO, effective immediately until the end of the year. This appointment was confirmed on the city’s website, citing Parrish’s use of her provincially granted strong mayor powers.

  • In a news release on June 26, Parrish thanked Lichterman for her years of service to the organization and residents, but did not elaborate on the reasons for the sudden change in leadership. “I want to thank Shari for her years of service to the organization and our residents, as well as her contributions to moving Mississauga forward,” Parrish said. “I wish her well in her future endeavours.”
  • Lichterman, reflecting on her time with the city, expressed her trust in Wright’s capabilities to lead the staff and wished the best for Mississauga.

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Severance pay for City of Mississauga employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees working for the City of Mississauga may get up to 24 months of severance pay when they are fired or laid off from their job. This applies to individuals working in any capacity—full-time, part-time, or hourly—in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Contractors may also be entitled to severance pay due to employee misclassification.

Severance is the compensation provided to non-unionized workers in Canada by their employer when they are terminated without cause.

Even if an employee is fired for cause, they may still be eligible for full severance pay. This is due to the high standards required to legally justify for-cause dismissal.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance packages in mass layoffs
How severance pay works by company
Severance for federally regulated employees

The right to severance pay is consistent regardless of economic conditions, company downsizing, business closures, or significant public health events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains everything you need to know about severance pay on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

The employment lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP have represented tens of thousands of employees over the years in severance package negotiations.

We have successfully secured much larger amounts for individuals employed across a variety of positions, from entry level jobs to executives.

How to properly calculate severance pay

There is a general belief that severance is one week’s pay, two weeks’ pay, or a week for every year of service an employee has with a company.

The reality is that severance for non-unionized employees in Canada is calculated using a variety of factors, including age, length of service, position, bonuses, benefits, and your ability to find new work.

• Severance Pay in Ontario
• Alberta severance packages
• Understanding severance in B.C.
Layoffs in Canada

Before accepting a severance offer, double-check the amount using our firm’s free Severance Pay Calculator. It has helped millions of Canadians determine their entitlements.

If your employer’s offer falls short of what our Severance Pay Calculator says you are owed, it’s very likely that you have been wrongfully dismissed and should contact an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Don’t sign on the dotted line!

Do not accept any severance offer, termination papers, or exit agreement that you receive. Once you sign back these documents, you eliminate your ability to negotiate additional severance pay.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay. An employer’s deadline to sign back a severance offer is not legally enforceable or binding.

Generally speaking, if an employee does not receive the proper amount of severance pay when they lose their job, they may be considered to have been wrongfully dismissed. An employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP can analyze your situation and explain how much compensation you may be owed.

Talk to an employment lawyer

The experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has helped tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals across the country. In addition to severance package negotiations, our team has experience securing solutions for the following employment matters:


Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. stand ready to help you solve your workplace issues.

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with an employment issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need, and the compensation you deserve.

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Disclaimer: The materials above are provided as general information about the rights of non-unionized employees in Canada. It is not specific to any one company and should not be read as suggesting any improper conduct on the part of any specific employer, or a relationship between Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and a specific employer.

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Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

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