Why Do I Need a Severance Review in Alberta?
In Alberta, employees are entitled to the minimum amount of notice or pay in lieu of notice under the Employment Standards Code. This is generally referred to as “termination pay.” In addition to these minimums, an employee may be entitled to further compensation pursuant to the common law (court decisions). This is generally referred to as “severance”. An employer may be liable for damages arising from wrongful dismissal if they do not provide the appropriate amount of severance pay to a terminated employee.
The reasonableness of the severance amount is based on a set of factors such as the employee’s age, the length of employment, and the availability of comparable work. These factors were set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in a famous case called Bardal. An employment lawyer can review your severance offer in order to determine whether the amount offered is fair, and can advise you on your entitlements under the law.
Do I Need to Go To Court if I am Owed Further Severance?
Not necessarily. Many employees are able to negotiate an increase in severance without the need for a wrongful dismissal claim. Therefore, the first step is often to have a lawyer draft a demand letter to your employer, setting out any further entitlements you may have under the law. A good lawyer can then negotiate on your behalf, and may be able to settle the matter for you without the need for further litigation.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
As set out previously, a lawyer can advise you on whether you may be entitled to further severance under the law. It is a good idea to consult a lawyer before signing a termination or severance offer so that you are aware of all your legal rights and entitlements before you sign an agreement which is potentially binding on your rights. At West Legal, we offer severance review services at an affordable flat rate. Should you have a case for further severance, we will negotiate on your behalf on a contingency basis. This means that you will only pay more than the initial flat fee if we are successful in negotiating an increase for you.