Employment Law

Nordstar Capital Severance Packages

A number of newspapers lined up one after the other. Nordstar employees can get up to 2 years' pay in severance.

Nordstar Capital is a holding company owned by Jordan Bitove. It is the owner of Torstar Corporation, and also has investments in other companies, including VerticalScope and NorthStar Gaming.

On July 27, 2020, an Ontario court approved Nordstar’s $60-million purchase of Canadian media company Torstar and its many assets, which includes:

  • The Toronto Star
  • Metroland Media Group
  • Hamilton Spectator
  • Peterborough Examiner
  • Waterloo Region Record
  • Niagara Falls Review
  • Minority ownership of The Canadian Press

Nordstar and Postmedia began deliberations about a potential merger on June 27, 2023. The discussions were terminated on July 10.

Recent layoffs at Nordstar

Severance for Nordstar employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Nordstar Capital can get up to 24 months of severance pay when they are fired or laid off from their job. This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, and hourly in Ontario, Alberta, or B.C.

Severance is the compensation a non-unionized worker in Canada receives from their employer when they are fired without cause.

Even if you are fired for cause, it’s very likely that you are still entitled to full severance pay because employees often don’t meet the conditions necessary for this type of dismissal.

Severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance packages in mass layoffs
Torstar outsources more printing operations

Regardless of a company’s grasp on employment law, they are legally required to provide proper compensation following a termination.

This concept applies during challenging economic conditions, downsizing, the closure of a business, or major 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 numerous 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.

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How to properly calculate severance pay

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

For non-unionized employees, the main factors of termination or severance pay include age, length of service, position, bonuses, benefits, and the ability to find new work.

If you work at Nordstar, you are likely a provincially regulated employee. That means your severance package must consider:

To figure out how much compensation you may be entitled to, use our firm’s Severance Pay Calculator.

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

Don’t sign on the dotted line!

Do not accept any severance offer, termination papers, or exit agreement that Nordstar may provide you with.

Once you sign back these documents, you eliminate your ability to negotiate a fair and proper severance package.

Wrongfully dismissed from Nordstar?

If you have lost your job at Nordstar, there is a chance that you have been wrongfully dismissed.

A wrongful dismissal in Canada happens when you are fired or permanently laid off by your employer, but aren’t given a proper severance package.

What you should receive is based on many factors. An employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP can analyze your situation and explain how much compensation you may be owed.

Fired “for cause” by Nordstar?

In Canada, termination for cause is reserved for the worst kinds of workplace offences, such as theft, misconduct, and assault.

If you are a non-unionized employee at Nordstar who was fired for cause, the company doesn’t have to provide you with a severance package and you can’t access Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

However, to justify this type of dismissal, Nordstar would have to prove:

  • Progressive disciplinary measures were applied
  • A less severe punishment would be inappropriate

Since it’s very difficult for companies to prove cause, non-unionized employees are often owed full severance pay.

If you are fired for cause for any reason, contact an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP immediately.

We can review your situation, enforce your rights, and help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Fired after a performance review?

If you are a non-unionized employee at Nordstar who was fired after being put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), you could still be entitled to severance pay.

Companies use PIPs to justify letting you go, sometimes without full severance, if you don’t complete it successfully.

However, employers in Canada don’t automatically have the right to fire you, especially for cause, if you fail to meet the requirements outlined in the PIP.

Companies often set unrealistic goals that are extremely difficult to achieve, or don’t give you the proper support to improve your work.

If you were fired following a “bad” performance review, or for failing a PIP, our firm can help you determine how much compensation you may be owed.

Changes to your job

Non-unionized employees at Nordstar don’t have to accept major changes to their job.

Large modifications such as a demotion, cut in pay, reduction in hours, or negative change to commission are illegal.

When the terms of your employment are significantly changed, the law allows you to resign from your job and seek full severance pay through a constructive dismissal claim.

Changes to your employment in Ontario
B.C. employees and changes to your job
Can your employer change your job in Alberta

Temporary layoffs

Temporary layoffs occur when an employer significantly reduces or completely stops an employee’s employment.

There is usually a mutual understanding from both sides that the employee will be called back to work, to the same position, after a reasonable period of time.

It’s important for non-unionized employees at Nordstar to understand that temporary layoffs are considered illegal, unless you agree to the layoff or it’s addressed in your employment contract.

You have the option to wait to be called back, or can treat this as a termination through a constructive dismissal and pursue severance.


Non-unionized employees at Nordstar don’t have to tolerate harassment in the workplace, either from coworkers or managers.

The company, like any employer, has a duty to investigate and respond appropriately to allegations of harassment and abuse.

If your company is creating, or allows for the creation of, a hostile or toxic work environment, this can be grounds for a constructive dismissal.

Contact an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin today to explore your rights.

Independent contractor? Think again

If you were hired by Nordstar as an independent contractor, there is a significant chance that you should actually be considered an employee.

Employers may misclassify employees as contractors to avoid acknowledging certain employment rights, like minimum wage, vacation and overtime pay, and severance when the individual is fired.

An employer can’t avoid the issue by having their worker sign an employment contract, which indicates that they are a contractor rather than an employee.

Our legal system provides guidelines for determining whether someone is a contractor or employee.

Use Samfiru Tumarkin LLP’s Pocket Employment Lawyer to find out what you are right now.

Fired for medical reasons

If your medical condition was in any way a factor in your employer’s decision to fire you while you are on leave, you may be able to file a human rights claim. Your employer can’t let you go due to medical issues or a disability.

If an employee is terminated without cause for reasons unrelated to their medical leave or disability, this is legally permissible, as long as the employer provides them with proper severance pay.

An employer may also legally terminate their worker while on medical leave if the employee is:

  • Terminated for reasons which sufficiently establish just cause
  • The employee’s employment contract has been frustrated

Long-term disability denied? Don’t appeal

If you are a Nordstar employee, and your long-term disability claim is denied by your insurance provider, you will likely receive a letter inviting you to appeal the decision.

While it might seem like a good idea to do so, in almost all cases, the appeals process will be handled by the same insurer that denied your claim.

Insurance companies make money by not paying claims. They often use the appeals process (sometimes leading claimants to request multiple appeals) to run out the clock on your ability to file a claim against them to get the money you are owed.

If your long-term disability claim is denied, cut off, or comes under “investigation”, contact Samfiru Tumarkin LLP immediately.

• Appealing a long-term disability claim denial
• Disability in the Workplace: Your Rights

Employment lawyers for Nordstar employees

The experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has helped tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals across the country.

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

If you are a non-unionized employee at Nordstar 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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Our employment lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. are ready to provide you with 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 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.

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