The Employment Law Show

5 Common Employment Law Myths | Employment Law Show TV – S7 E09

Episode Summary

COMMON EMPLOYMENT LAW MYTHS, severance for short-service employees, employment contracts, and more on Season 7 Episode 09 of the Employment Law Show with employment lawyer Lior Samfiru, Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Watch above to discover your workplace rights and learn everything you need to know about employment law in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta, on the only employment law show on both TV and radio in Canada.

Episode Notes

Recruited employee terminated after less than a year

I was in a senior position at a company but was let go after six months. I was offered five months of severance pay. Is this adequate?

  • Recruitment and severance pay: Employees in senior positions that are terminated without cause for a short amount of time should consider whether or not they are owed enhanced severance. Employees that are recruited from another position by a different company could be owed severance for the previous years of service at their job as they were induced to resign.

 Short-service employee severance

A younger worker was hired to help me out in my sales role and later surpassed my own abilities. After 18 months, I was let go and offered 2 months of severance.

  • Severance pay for short-service employees: Employees are owed severance pay regardless of the amount of time they have worked in a new job. In many cases, short-service employees can be owed comparatively more severance pay than longer-service employees. Employment laws recognize that short-service employees could find difficulty finding new employment.

Signing an employment contract

I’m about to start a new job in a management position at a fairly large company. I was offered a contract to sign. Is there anything I should be looking for in this contract or be aware of?

  • Employment agreements: Before signing a new employment contract it is vital for employees to seek out legal advice from an employment lawyer. There are terms included in a contract that can seek to limit an employee’s future severance entitlements. Some employment contracts can also include terminology that allows employers to change the terms of an employee’s job or place them on a layoff.

5 Common Employment Law Myths

  • Wrongful dismissal definition: Employees often mistakenly believe that a wrongful dismissal occurs if they were terminated for an inaccurate reason. Employers are permitted to terminate an employee for any reason as long as it is not discriminatory. Alternatively, a wrongful dismissal actually occurs if an employee is terminated without cause and not offered adequate severance pay.
  • Terminated from work while ill: Employees cannot be penalized or terminated as a result of taking medical leave. Employers that terminate or punish an employee as a result of a medical condition have violated their employee’s human rights and could face additional legal consequences.
  • Major changes made to a job: Employers cannot impose major changes to the terms of employment without an employee’s consent. Major changes made to an employee’s job without their permission can either be accepted or treated as constructive dismissal.
  • Resignation vs. termination: Employees that have voluntarily resigned from their job are not owed severance pay. Employees that have resigned are also not entitled to employment insurance. A resignation however has to be completely voluntary and pressure to resign can be treated as a termination.
  • Severance calculations: A common misconception for many employees is that severance is calculated at a week per year of service. Severance pay is based on the age of an employee, the length of service as well as the position.

New job not possible due to medical condition

I’ve worked for a company for almost a decade. I was offered a new position that is completely different from my previous job. I have a medical condition that prevents me from being successful in this new position.

  • Duty to accommodate: Employers are obligated to provide accommodation to employees with a medical condition. Employees that are unable to work in their position due to medical reasons should ensure that their employer has a doctor’s note detailing their restrictions. Employers that do not have a job available to employees are within their rights to terminate an employee but with full severance pay.

Working notice for a long-service employee

After 35 years as an Office Administrator at a doctor’s office, due to health issues, he’s closing his practice. He gave her about a month of working notice. Is she owed any additional severance?”

  • Working notice and severance pay: Employers that shut down their business but have not declared bankruptcy must pay full severance pay to their employees. Employers are within their rights to give employees working notice, however, in many cases will owe employees additional severance pay upon termination.

Denied promotion due to maternity leave

Prior to taking maternity leave, I was told I was going to be promoted. Now that I’m about to return, my employer has informed me that the position has been filled. Can they do this?

  • Returning from maternity leave: Employers are not obligated to offer employees a raise or promotion. While employers are not bound to fulfill initial promises unless they are penalizing employees as a result of taking maternity or parental leave. Employers cannot make decisions for an employee’s wage, position, etc., based on an employee taking a leave.

NEXT EPISODE: Employment Law Show S7 E10 – What to know about social media in the workplace

PREVIOUS EPISODE: Employment Law Show S7 E08 – Constructive dismissal – True/False

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