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The majority of severance offers from employers are not fair. Employers often provide deadlines to accept severance offers which are arbitrary (you have two years from the date of your dismissal to accept an offer). Everyone who has been dismissed should seek out professional, legal advice prior to signing an offer.
Employees may be terminated from their employment in a variety of ways. If an employer has just cause to terminate an employee, this can be done without notice or severance. Such terminations are rare, and it is very difficult for the employer to establish that you have been terminated for cause.
In the event that an employer does not have just cause, the Employment Standards Act sets out the basic minimum notice period that must be given to that employee, or, in the absence of notice, the amount of severance that must be paid in lieu. This is the minimum amount of severance owed to an employee and most employees in the province of British Columbia are owed significantly more.
Depending on the employee’s age, position held, length of employment and responsibility within the workplace, that employee may be entitled at common law to additional notice of their termination, or, alternatively, a higher severance than what is provided for by statute. This may also include employee benefits, bonuses, overtime, pension, etc.
It is always important to seek out legal advice prior to agreeing to any severance offer.
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