The Employment Law Show

Employment Law Show 640 Toronto – S9 E21

A headshot of Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, to the right of the Employment Law Show logo. He hosts the show on various Global News radio stations.

Episode Summary

Layoffs, seniority, toxic work environments, and more on Season 9 Episode 21 of the Employment Law Show on Global News Radio on 640 Toronto.

Listen below as Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru, Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, reveals your workplace rights in Toronto, the GTA, Hamilton, London, and across Ontario on the Employment Law Show. Jon shatters myths and misconceptions about severance pay, terminations, workplace harassment, overtime pay, wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, duty to accommodate, independent contractors, and more.

Listen to the Episode

Episode Notes

I was laid off due to COVID-19 and was eventually recalled but my hours were reduced significantly. Do I have any options here?

Employees do not have to accept significant changes to their terms of employment and can choose to treat the proposed changes as grounds for constructive dismissal. Unfortunately, the longer an employee accepts the proposed changes, the stronger the argument can be made for implied consent by their employer.

I was on disability leave for a few months and I was just informed I was replaced. Can they do that?

Once an employee is ready to return to work after a disability leave, their employer has a duty to accommodate that employee. If that position is no longer available, they will have to try and find something comparable or lets the employee go with severance.

Can an employee who has a disability be let go?

An employee cannot be terminated for a disability or while on disability leave as this is considered a human rights violation. An employee can be let go if there is no job available, but not due to the disability itself.

What happens if you work for a company and they are relocating to a different city?

Relocation of a company can be considered grounds for constructive dismissal if an employee’s job is negatively impacted as a result. If the relocation however does not significantly impact an employee’s commute or manner of getting to work, it is not a constructive dismissal.

If you have a company that has shown some favouritism and there is evidence of a toxic environment, how does that lead to constructive dismissal?

All employees have a right to work in a healthy and safe work environment. An employee will have to prove that their work environment is toxic and unsafe in order to pursue constructive dismissal and receive their full severance.

When you are on CERB and laid off, if you are recalled and eventually let go, does the period you were laid off count towards severance?

Despite being laid off by an employer, that period still counts towards an employee’s length of service with a company and will be counted towards a future severance entitlement.

I was let go and told they were going in a different direction and the job would no longer be available. There was no termination offer or papers for me to sign. Months later, a previous co-worker says he is doing my old job.

An employee in this situation would be entitled to their full severance and should contact an employment lawyer, and not the Ministry of Labour which can only advise an employee on their minimum entitlements.

I worked for a company for 15 years and I was laid off 5 years ago but was hired back. Should I have been able to retain my seniority?

Seniority is not automatic however if the employer does not treat the returning new employee as a new hire, it is implied that they have recognized past service. When an employee returns after a layoff, if there is a probation period and terms of new employment, past years of service won’t be considered towards seniority.

Does an employer have to have a certain amount on payroll before they pay out the maximum amount of severance?

The amount and size of payroll is irrelevant to an employee’s full, common law severance entitlements. Severance for some former employees can be up to two years of compensation.

I have not received a pay increase in more than 5 years. Does my employer have to give me an increase?

An employer does not have an obligation to give an employee a pay increase unless it was established in an employment agreement.

My employer says they have given me a good severance offer and will not increase it. Should I bother getting the offer reviewed?

An employer does not determine whether or not a severance offer is satisfactory but employment law. Employees should contact an employment lawyer if they feel they have not been offered what is considered appropriate.

When severance is determined, can it be spread out over a period of months?

An employer can choose to spread severance out over months of time, but the period of time can be negotiated.

I was let go and had only been with the company for 3 years. My termination was due to restructuring and I was offered 2 months severance. Is this right?

An employee in this situation should contact an employment lawyer in order to calculate the appropriate amount of severance they are entitled too.

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