Severance Packages 101: When Facing Job Cuts

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Protect Yourself with a Flat Rate Severance Package Review

The employment law & severance package review legal group at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta has been receiving a high volume of calls from people who have lost their job to recent job cuts. When presented with severance packages, employees are often scared and placed under tight deadlines for signing it. Severance packages may be generous but they may also be grossly under valued in terms of what you may be entitled to.It is extremely important to have the offer you received reviewed.

Once you sign your release, it is too late to go back to your employer. Learn more about severance package reviews here. The low cost of a review, can literally mean 1000s of more dollars in your pocket. In some extreme instances, our group has secured 100s of thousands of dollars in increases in the severance package. Here is what you need to know if you have lost your job.

The Law on Minimum Severance Package Amounts

People forget, or just are not aware, that there are two sets of laws that cover severance package minimums. The first is the legislated law. This is what people generally think about. This law sets the minimum number of weeks that are required to be paid (or notice period) in a severance package when they are fired without cause. There is also the common law. The common law are the set of laws that are established by case law. The amounts a person is entitled to varies depending on a number of factors. Usually, if a person has worked at a position for a significant amount of time, or is in management, the amount required to be paid in a severance package is higher.

How to Treat the Severance Funds You Receive

In a recent article, people are warned not to treat severance package funds as lottery winnings. These funds are meant to replace your income until you find a new job. The funds should be saved and either be used to pay down debt to reduce your monthly “overhead” or saved and used to live off of while searching for new employment.

Don’t Be Scared: Get an Expert on Your Side

Employers expect people to seek out legal assistance in reviewing severance packages. In fact, many of the referrals that our Calgary office gets are from the lawyers who represent employers. Employees often call their employers lawyers for help but they are conflicted and cannot act for both sides. Negotiations over package reviews are not usually a fight that will tarnish your reputation in an industry. The law has determined certain standards that a person is entitled to rely on.

Peace of Mind for Termination Pay

There is nothing worse than living with uncertainty. There are times where employers are fair. Sometimes they do not try to limit what they have to pay assuming their employees will not have their severance package reviewed. If the offer is fair, our lawyers will tell you. You will then have peace of mind that you have not left money on the table. Remember, once you sign that release for your severance cheque, you are stopped from going back for money, even if you were under paid.

What Do You Do If Your Termination Package is Low

If your termination package is low, we offer two options. First, every flat rate severance package review we do comes with a written opinion letter. Even though we charge a nominal amount for these reviews, we want to give you information in writing. You can then tell them that you spoke to a lawyer and they told you that the severance package should be higher. The other option is to have us negotiate your package for you. We negotiate severance packages on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay us anything more unless we can get you more money. You also only pay us a percentage on the amount that we increase your severance package by.

But “I Don’t Want To Go To Court”

Do not worry. It is very rare for an employee to have to go to court. Most negotiations are completed in a few weeks. In the end, usually both the employer and the employee are content with the outcome. On the very rare occurrence where an employer refuses to follow the law, we will advise you of what you are entitled to and give you the choice of fighting for what you deserve. We are there for you if you want us to. In reality, fewer than one in one thousand files ever go to court for fights over severance packages.

You Are Not Alone

Our severance package review lawyers will review the offer you received to determine if the offer is fair on a flat rate basis. Severance packages can be a scary thing to think about but we are here. Call today for peace of mind and a team that will protect you when you suddenly find yourself without a job. Call 403-225-8810 or email today to contact us.