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View Full Version : OT - I need employment advice! Any employment lawyers out there??


TashaRVT
11-08-2008, 02:19 PM
Hi all - I'm going to lean on you all for a second, so don't mind me.

I got terminated yesterday, and to make a looooong and terribly life-sucking :scared1: story short, my employer presented me with a document to sign and return in order to receive my termination pay. She gave me no notice and no reason. The document is kind of complicated, and if I sign it, I'm signing away my rights to go after her for any "additional" termination pay (she's offering me 6 weeks pay - I worked there for 4 years), or wrongful dismissal, or a couple of other things that I don't even know what they are!! I think I need to talk to a lawyer before I sign this document.

Any thoughts? Please, I need help. :sad2: :sad2: :sad2: :sad2:

glenpreece
11-08-2008, 02:22 PM
Hi all - I'm going to lean on you all for a second, so don't mind me.

I got terminated yesterday, and to make a looooong and terribly life-sucking :scared1: story short, my employer presented me with a document to sign and return in order to receive my termination pay. She gave me no notice and no reason. The document is kind of complicated, and if I sign it, I'm signing away my rights to go after her for any "additional" termination pay (she's offering me 6 weeks pay - I worked there for 4 years), or wrongful dismissal, or a couple of other things that I don't even know what they are!! I think I need to talk to a lawyer before I sign this document.

Any thoughts? Please, I need help. :sad2: :sad2: :sad2: :sad2:
yes def run it by a lawyer or clerk first and sorry for your misfortune

TashaRVT
11-08-2008, 03:11 PM
yes def run it by a lawyer or clerk first and sorry for your misfortune

Seems simple, buut.. how do I find one?? Is there anyone who can advise me without having to actually hire an attorney fo $500/hr or whatever it is? Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to pay someone for their time, this is just such completely foreign territory for me, I don't even know where to start.

The whole thing just gives me a headache; and a gutache. :sick:

My 2 princesses
11-08-2008, 03:44 PM
to hear that. Is there a legal aid place that you can call?? I thought they were for free?

surfer_ed
11-08-2008, 04:02 PM
Not a lawyer but do allot of HR stuff. A few things to consider.


If she is terminating you for cause, did you ask for a reason if she didn't give you any?
If you take the 6 weeks can you qualify for EI?
She must have a so so case to dismiss you at best if she is willing to give you 6 weeks. If it is for just cause and she is sure of herself she does not have to pay you anything?
What did she say when you indicated you wanted your lawyer to review?


Do you really want to stay after this anyway? If you do not maybe you can get a fairer settlement. In my industry 4 years would equal about 5 months pay if being laid-off.

brighteyes
11-08-2008, 06:42 PM
I know in Kitchener we have Legal Clinics. Legal Aid has been reduced to criminal matters, etc.

We have a legal clinic here that have lawyers to give you advice and advocate for you. These legal clinics are run by lawyers because Legal Aid has cut back the services it offers and types of cases.

If not, many lawyers will give you a 30 min free consultation. Look in your yellow pages or online for legal clinics in your area.

Good luck to you and :hug: . I am in school for social services and just did a paper on advocating for someone for this type of issue. So please check there are many ways you can at least get a free consult.

Stephanie

Wazzo
11-08-2008, 07:31 PM
Sorry to hear about that! :eek:

You could try calling a local university law department. I know our local university gives free legal services to people with little to no income. It is done by law students, but it overseen by professionals. HTH! :goodvibes

OntFamily
11-08-2008, 08:01 PM
Sorry to hear about your job loss. The Law Society of Upper Canada has a lawyer referral service, that may help you.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/public/a/faqs---lawyer-referral-service/

My 2 princesses
11-08-2008, 08:50 PM
EAP. Does your company have EAP? If so, try that route.

Good luck

cdnmickeylover
11-08-2008, 09:06 PM
Sent you a PM.

TashaRVT
11-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Sorry to hear about your job loss. The Law Society of Upper Canada has a lawyer referral service, that may help you.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/public/a/faqs---lawyer-referral-service/

What a great service! I'll be in touch with them on Monday am, that's for sure!

bdoyledimou
11-08-2008, 09:22 PM
Ontario is an "at-will" employment province, meaning you and your employer are free to terminate the employment agreement at will without repercussions as long as severence is paid in lue of notice.

6 weeks for 4 years is pretty standard.

The only two "wrongfull" termination case i have seen succeed is where a manager was fired for not doing general office clean ups in which a 3rd party company was already contracted to do. She recieved 6 weeks severance pay, (and then paid 14 weeks pay to the lawyer) and the case of a contractor who had a pay guarantee for the length of his contract, who was offered a full time role at a higher rate of pay in lieu of the contract (mid contract).

Within 2 hours of him signing the agreement, the company laid off his entire division (including him). He was able to recover his contract fees and legal costs.

It also depends on your employment sector.. (if you are in IT.. you have NO employment rights whatesoever)..

MaryannF
11-09-2008, 02:59 PM
According to the Ontario Employment Standards Act you are entitled to 1 week of regular pay for each year of employment and 2 weeks of regular pay in lieu of notice of termination.

Jen M
11-10-2008, 08:59 AM
I have been in your shoes. I was let go from my job a couple of years ago on Nov 26th. I wasn't happy there and would have quit if I had found another job. My boss got a new girlfriend and hired her on in my place. I did go to a lawyer because they didn't give me a reason. I was told that in Ontario they don't need a reason. I had been with the company for 1.5 years. He told me that I could get up to 6 weeks pay but after his fees it wouldn't be worth it and to take the two weeks that he give me.

Most lawyers you can book an appt with for free. They will tell you what your best option is how much it would cost you.

TashaRVT
11-10-2008, 03:54 PM
Thank you to everyone who posted me advice! It's very much appreciated!:thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

I have an appt tomorrow am with an employment attorney who can advise me. My employer did offer me 6 weeks termination pay in return for a release signing away all my rights for future legal action/claims. THAT'S what freaked me out! I'm not signing ANYTHING until I get it looked at by an attorney who can advise me!

Cottager
11-11-2008, 02:44 AM
Sorry to hear about your situation. You mentioned you've been at your employer for 4 years. How far off are you from the 5 year mark? Did you have any previous placement with the same employer concurrently that could stretch your total time to 5 years. For example, at any time, were you on a temporary contract, hired through an agency, an hourly employee, a co-op placement, took a leave of absence, took maternity/parental leave, or went on disability?

If you had reached the 5 year mark and your employer was a larger company, you may have been eligible for a minimum of 5 weeks termination pay in lieu of notice plus an additional 5 weeks of severance pay. Since that's the Employment Standards minimum in Ontario, your employer would probably top it up with an additional 2 weeks in exchange for a signed Release.

Not knowing your personal situation, I can tell you that most larger organizations would offer you 6 weeks as proposed for a non-professional, non-management position, however, they will settle for 8 weeks with a signed Release. Depending on what your lawyer says, don't be afraid to respond to your employer with a counter offer to settle for the 8 weeks (2 weeks for every year of service). Just make sure you respond by the date indicated in the letter.

Your lawyer will also look at your entitlement under Common Law in addition to Employment Standards in Ontario. Under Common Law, if your employer does not have just cause to terminate your employment, they must provide you with enough time to find another position. The length of time to find a comparable position is determined by a number of factors including the length of time in the position, the level of the position, your pay scale, your age, the current marketplace for the position and any potential wrongful dismissal issues. If you are not in a higher level position, this option may not be worth the extra legal fees to pursue.

Please make sure you start your employment search immediately rather than taking any time off to deal with it. Keep your energy and mind focused on getting that next position and don't lose that momentum.

Good luck.