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How much is a Good Severance Package?
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Employment Law

How much is a Good Severance Package?

By Employment Law

TLDR: It’s complicated. Long answer: It is a commonly held belief that you calculate an employee’s Common Law Notice (commonly referred to as severance, though that has a separate legal meaning) as one month’s salary for each completed year of service. This belief is incorrect. Common-Law Notice is far more complex than that, and the answer to what a person is entitled to can be a shock. What is considered appropriate changes not only due to the person’s age, job, experience, length at that job, previous jobs, education, health, but also the state of the world. It is important to…

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Have You Been Temporarily Laid Off Due to COVID? We Might Be Able to Help

By Employment Law

The last year and a half have brought pain and suffering for many. Whether it was losing your job, falling ill, or just adjusting to the harsh reality that is the new “normal,” we have all struggled. This is especially true for those people who have been laid off due to the repeated shutdowns, emergency orders, and changing landscape of society. But, unfortunately, some employers used this period of uncertainty and the COVID-19 pandemic as a carte-blanche to engage in some questionably legal practices. What is Constructive Dismissal? At a very basic level, constructive dismissal is when an essential term…

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What Happens if My Employer Ends My Employment Contract Early?

By Employment Law

You are likely entitled to compensation and/or damages. How much depends on the type of contract. There are two types of employment contracts. Indefinite Term – This is the most common type. The length of the contract is indefinite; it will continue until either the employee or employer ends it. Most employment is this type. Fixed Term – This is a contract for a fixed amount of time, such as one year. The contract will often have a termination clause that sets out how much an employee is entitled to if the contract is terminated. As with most things, Courts…

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How to Protect Yourself When Hiring a Home Renovation Contractor

By Employment Law

Planning for a home renovation is an exciting milestone in one’s life. However, it can turn into a great source of stress both financially and mentally if it is not planned well. Despite the substantial financial burden that comes with starting a renovation project, the decision-making process is often the hardest and the most critical step along the way. After all, that is what determines what the result of the renovation is. Having a contractor by your side can help you immensely through this journey. It is crucial to find a contractor that is a good fit for you and…

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Preventing Discrimination Based on Genetic Information

By Employment Law

We live in a time of rapid technological advancements, and that includes the field of biotechnology. As services that provide commercial genetic screening become more widespread and affordable, peoples’ genetic information is becoming more accessible. This information includes genetic predispositions to physical characteristics, personality traits, and disorders, to name a few. Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of people being assessed and responded to based on their genes.  Federal and provincial governments are aware of this possibility. They have begun taking steps to protect people from discrimination based on their genetic characteristics. In Ontario, Bill 40, the Human Rights Code…

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Former Shell Executive gets $800,000 for Wrongful Dismissal

By Employment Law

In Alberta, a former Shell Canada executive was found to have been wrongfully dismissed, and was awarded an impressive $800,000. The Facts Kathryn Underhill was a Vice President for Shell Canada for 18 months, and had worked at Shell Canada for nearly 17 years before becoming an executive. In 2015, the oil industry in Alberta was doing poorly, as oil prices were falling rapidly. Consequently, Shell decided to look for ways to save money. Underhill was instructed by Lorraine Mitchelmore, President of Shell, to find savings of $100 million from her department’s budget. On August 19, 2015, Underhill met with…

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Can Poor Economic Conditions Increase Reasonable Notice Period?

By Employment Law

Whenever the economy takes a downturn, people are more likely to lose their jobs. But does the state of the economy affect the reasonable notice period and employee is entitled to? As it turns out, it does. The fact that poor economic conditions increase the reasonable notice period can be traced back to the landmark case, Bardal v Globe and Mail Ltd. (1960), 24 DLR (2d) 140 (ONSC). This case sets out the basis for determining the reasonable notice period. Bardal holds that one of the key factors that shape the reasonable notice period is “the availability of similar employment”….

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Do Salaried Employees Get Overtime Pay?

By Employment Law

YES.  It does not matter how you are paid, be it hourly, or salary paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you are by default entitled to overtime pay under Part VIII of the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). You would also be entitled to premium pay and public holiday pay.  Being paid via salary has many advantages. There are likely no longer issues of scheduling shifts and not knowing how much each paycheck will be. Salary also carries an implicit degree of job security, as the employer is committing to a longer-term relationship.  However, some employees have the critical misconception that they…

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Just Been Terminated – 3 Simple Things to Remember

By Employment Law

Being terminated is a terrifying process. In the words of the former Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1987, Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self‑worth and emotional well‑being. Your livelihood, your daily routine, and your plans for the future are all tied up in work. At least some of your self worth or self-identity will vanish when you’re…

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What is Legal Advice, and is an Elephant a Tree, a Snake or a Spear?

By Employment Law

When people call our firm, they will have something particular on their minds. Usually, it is a recent termination or other workplace issues. Why else call a law firm in Hamilton, Ontario? We are not known for our 5-star meals or wide array of garden furniture.  Many people will look at their situation and narrow what they want to know down to a single question. Often that question is, “Is my termination package fair?” It will then be understandably frustrating when a lawyer will not answer that simple question, which the caller feels has a one-word answer. Why can’t a…

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