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The number of people being fired in Ontario is ticking up with the unemployment rate

Employment lawyer Peter McSherry says in a slowing economy, employees should expect a better termination package

The job market is showing signs of softening. Rona is just one company that recently slashed jobs to adapt to a slower economy. Is this the start of a trend? Guelph employment lawyer Peter McSherry believes it may be.

Since May, McSherry’s office has been receiving more calls from terminated employees seeking advice. McSherry says, “In early spring, the job market was relatively strong and fired employees could expect to be re-hired quickly. But since then, it’s probably a good idea for people to be more cautious and talk to a lawyer to determine if the termination offer is fair.”

If you haven’t received a fair offer, you should take steps to get proper compensation.

What is proper compensation?

Non-unionized employees are owed full severance pay if they lose their job to downsizing, closures, or restructuring. This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario. Severance can be as much as 24 months depending on various factors.

When the economy was stronger, lawyers representing employers argued that a terminated employee didn’t need to receive a lengthy notice period because there were so many jobs available, and they could be re-hired quickly. McSherry says, “Today, counsel for employers have stopped arguing that it will be easy for a fired employee to find another job because the job market is shrinking and the number of terminated employees is growing.”

Who is getting fired?

There appears to be a lot of turmoil on the job market, right across the board. In addition to older, long-term employees, younger, more recent hires, are also being let go. McSherry says, “People with only a few months service might not think that they’re entitled to much, but that’s not true. Oftentimes courts will give lengthy notice periods for people who’ve been employed for less than a year. They might get a four-month severance package, almost as if it was a wrongful hire.”

Courts are giving longer notice periods to reflect the fact that it takes longer to find other work. It could take people four months or more to find another job, and you must consider the time it takes to go through the hiring process.

Get a lawyer

If terminated employees don’t have another job to go to immediately, they should have a lawyer review at the termination offer to see if anything more can be done for them. The reality is that more people are losing their jobs and staying unemployed longer.

If you would like to have your termination offer reviewed, contact Peter McSherry at (519) 821-5465 or online here.