The Employment Law Show

5 Mistakes employees should NOT make | Employment Law Show TV – S6 E30

Episode Summary

5 MISTAKES EMPLOYEES SHOULD NOT MAKE, fired after a medical leave, signing a new contract, and more on Season 6 Episode 30 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

Let go during the probationary period

I had just begun a new job and after a few months, I was let go. I was told as I was on probation I am not owed anything. Is this true?

Severance for long-service employees if terminated without cause

I’m firing a 60-year-old employee with 25 years of service, but not because they did anything horrible or wrong. How much severance do I owe them?

  • Severance pay for longer service employees: Severance is based on a number of factors, including the age of an employee, the position and length of employment. Long service employees can be entitled to up to almost 2 years of severance pay.

Severance in Alberta
Severance packages in Ontario
Severance entitlements in B.C

  • Termination without cause: Employers are permitted to terminate employees without cause as long as the reason is not discriminatory, such as age discrimination, and adequate severance pay is given. Employees who feel that they have been let go for discriminatory reasons should contact an employment lawyer to determine if there are additional human rights damages.

Fired after returning from medical leave

I contracted COVID-19 and had to take significant time off. Upon my return to work, I was terminated due to absenteeism.

  • Terminating a sick or injured employee: Employees cannot be penalized or terminated due to an illness or injury, it is considered a human rights violation. Employees who are ill and experiencing an ongoing medical condition should speak to their doctor and provide their employer with a note.
  • Medical leave: Different provinces across the country have implemented job-protected leave if an employee has contracted COVID-19. Employees who are on medical leave as a result of COVID-19 and terminated could be entitled to human rights damages.

5 Mistakes employees should NOT make

  • Agree to major changes to their job, such as a decrease in hours or pay: Employees who accept significant changes to their job, such as a demotion, reduction in pay, relocation, etc. By accepting a change employees have given their employers permission to implement future changes. Changes that occur in the future would have to be accepted by employees no matter the severity. A change can initially be treated as constructive dismissal.
  • Accept a bad performance review and inaccurate criticism: Employees who feel that they have been given an inaccurate performance review should not accept the critique. Accepting a false critique it can be used against an employee by their employer for a possible termination for cause. Employees should in writing confirm they disagree with the review.
  • Signing a new employment contract: An employment agreement can take away rights employees have automatically and employees often are unaware of this fact. Employees should always contact an employment lawyer before signing an employment agreement in order to protect their rights.
  • Relying on information from family and friends bout employment laws: Protecting employment rights is vital and employees can often lose their rights by contacting the wrong source. It is important to receive information from the right professional.
  • Sign an initial severance offer immediately: The most costly mistake employees can make is accepting an initial severance offer as they are rarely accurate. Accepting an initial offer prevents an employee from seeking their actual entitlements. Employees have up to 2 years after the date of their termination to pursue their rights despite deadlines implemented by their former employer.

Not provided with coverage after work-sustain injury while working remotely

While working from home I sustained an injury after falling down the stairs and was terminated. I was not provided with any medical benefits or coverage.

  • Terminated after an injury: All employees are entitled to accommodations by their employer if ill or injured and a failure to receive accommodations by an employer is a potential human rights violation. Employees cannot be penalized for an illness or condition.
  • Employment agreement and benefits: Employers are obligated to provide the benefits outlined in an employment agreement and cannot decide to change their minds on a whim and withhold benefits.

Asked to sign an employment contract with payment restructuring

I work on salary and commission. I was asked to sign a new employment contract that changes my payment structure. Should I agree to sign this agreement?

  • Employment contracts: Employers cannot change the terms of employment outlined in a contract that was agreed upon at the start of employment. Employees can refuse to accept the new changes proposed by their employer.
  • Changes made to an employee’s job: Employees who do not wish to accept a major change to their job are within their rights to pursue constructive dismissal. Employees who wish to accept a change for a temporary period of time should state in writing that they are willing to accept a change temporarily.

Minimum severance pay after decades of employment

I lost my job as a senior warehouse supervisor after 20 years. I was offered 2 weeks per year of service in severance. Is this amount of compensation normal?

  • Severance after decades of employment: Employees are owed severance pay based on their age, length of employment and position. Long-service employees can be owed up to 24 months of pay depending on their circumstances.

NEXT EPISODE: Employment Law Show S7 E01 – 5 Things to look for in an employment contract

PREVIOUS EPISODE: Employment Law Show S6 E29 – Fast facts about bonus payments

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