Did your employer provide you with a fair termination package or severance offer? The best way to find out is by having one of our employment lawyers review the severance package for free to see if anything further can be done.
As we offer a free consultation, you can only benefit by speaking to one of our employment lawyers to get advice on whether or not the severance offer is fair to you. If we determine the severance offer is too low, we can fight on your behalf to get a better outcome. Our legal fees are results-driven and are based on a percentage of the difference between what you have already been offered and what increased severance amount we get for you.
How we can support you
If you’ve just been fired, let go, terminated with just cause, or constructively dismissed you might not know if you're getting a fair deal in your termination pay package or severance offer. Maybe you weren’t offered termination pay at all, and don’t know if you are owed severance or how to calculate your severance pay. You may feel unsure, but rest assured you are not alone. When you call Share Lawyers, you will speak with someone who knows employment law and employment rights, who knows what you are going through, and can offer you the best possible advice at no cost to you.
Why you should contact us:
- It’s free to talk to us
- There are no fees unless you win
- We specialize in employment law and can go through your options
- We make arrangements for a free consultation with one of our Toronto employment lawyers to see how we can help you get a fair severance package
- We're there to answer all of your questions
Is my termination or severance package fair?
Employment lawyers are negotiators first, and litigators second. This is because the vast majority of employment cases taken on by employment law firms are settled long before trial. In many ways, everything that happens before a trial is part of the negotiation process. Below are some helpful things to keep in mind about employment settlements and how they take shape.
Is the Amount Reasonable?
In large part, this question will depend on you. We can advise you on what is reasonable, but this will fall within a range. Things that commonly affect your entitlement can include:
- Your age, length of service, and character of employment;
- The wording of your employment contract or agreement;
- The amount of “working notice” or notice period you received;
- The jurisdiction of your employment;
- You chances of re-employment to a comparable role; and
- The circumstances of your termination.
Every case involves an element of risk. There are also personal circumstances that you need to consider which may have little or nothing to do with legal considerations.
The “X-Factor” – Re-employment
A court’s discretion to award you severance pay depends, in part, on you proving that you have made “reasonable efforts” to obtain re-employment to a comparable role. However, if you are successful in that regard, money you earn from the replacement job during the “notice period” (i.e., your “mitigation earnings”) will typically be deducted from your damages for wrongful dismissal. For instance, if we claim a 12-month period of reasonable notice on your behalf, and you start a replacement job earning the same pay 8 months after your termination, your entitlement will be limited to 8 months’ pay in lieu of notice.
This interaction provides an incentive for you to try to settle your case early, and can have a significant impact on what you might wish to settle for.
The types of things we will look for in a settlement (other than the amount of money)
There are many important pieces to a settlement other than amount. Here are some of the most common things we will look for:
1. Types and structure of payments
Depending on how payments are structured, your tax and other liabilities flowing from this settlement may be reduced. For instance, no tax is withheld from human rights damages or (typically) from contributions towards your legal fees. We may also be able to formulate strategies to limit offsets to other sources of income, including your LTD insurer (if you are receiving LTD) or employment insurance (if you are receiving EI). The goal is to increase the total amount of money that ends up in your pocket.
2. Release terms
Your employer will want you to sign a release, which will prevent you from suing them in the future. The release may contain expansive terms that may inadvertently release other legal rights (such as your right to sue your employer for LTD payments); or seek to impose other unreasonable requirements on you, which may be hidden under a volume of legalese.
3. Other terms we might look for
Other non-monetary or quasi-monetary terms we might ask for include the following:
- Extension of benefit coverage;
- Letters of reference and/or confirmation of employment;
- Confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.
It is important to remember that settlement discussions can, theoretically, include almost any term you could ask for. Money tends to be the most important term for both parties, but it is not the only way to resolve a dispute.
I want what’s fair, but I don’t want to go to trial!
In most cases, we will attempt to settle your case with a demand letter. Sometimes, for whatever reason, your employer may not be willing to make an offer that we consider to be satisfactory. In this case, you have two options: let the issue drop, or press the issue by initiating (or further pursuing) legal action.
Our goal is almost never to go to trial – it is to get you the best possible settlement in the circumstances. People often mistakenly assume that filing a statement of claim means putting the case before a judge, but this is a long way off. Only a very small fraction of claims filed in court end up going to trial. There are many steps to complete between filing a claim and going to trial - the process can take years. Settlement is always a possibility at every stage of a legal proceeding, and each step that we take in the legal proceeding will typically increase the pressure on your employer to settle.
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Employment lawyer fees
We are different from other law firms dealing with employment law because we work on contingency and you do not have to pay any fees unless you win.* There are no upfront costs and there are no fees until we settle your case. Everything is results-driven, and we only get paid if you get paid. It is part of our Share Law Guarantee.
*certain exceptions apply and in cases where we are not able to offer a contingency fee retainer, we will discuss the other options with you.
How much time do I have?
Employment claims are subject to certain time limits. As soon as you have been terminated from your employment or feel that your rights as an employee have been ignored, we encourage you to contact the employment lawyers at Share Lawyers for legal advice and to discuss your case.
If you have received a termination or severance package and are unsure if it is fair, we will review it and talk you through all of your options — free of charge. It’s important to be informed about the employment process and to know your rights.
No fees unless you win your case
We understand your situation and that paying for an employment lawyer may feel out of reach. That is why we offer a free consultation, why there are no upfront costs to you, and why there are no fees unless you win your case. You’re not alone. We believe in your case, which is why we only get paid when you do.
When you work with us, you get guidance and tools to help you along the way. You will become a member of a privileged group of clients that have access to our hub, called Life reBUILDER™, exclusively from Share Lawyers. It offers six unique services to help rebuild your life and get you back on track, beginning with the expertise of a full legal team all working for you.