Your employment questions answered

Picture of Sunira Chaudhri

Sunira Chaudhri

Toronto Employment Lawyer

March is a time of transition, of wondering if the grass is greener somewhere else; it’s a time to ponder the road never travelled. For many employees, it is also a time to start anew. A true spring rebirth, on the heels of sweeping restructuring across various sectors.

March is an interesting time of year for employees.

 

Fiscal years have long ended and bonuses paid out.

 

March is a time of transition, of wondering if the grass is greener somewhere else; it’s a time to ponder the road never travelled. For many employees, it is also a time to start anew. A true spring rebirth, on the heels of sweeping restructuring across various sectors.

 

I have received various interesting employment questions during this transition time that may be helpful to consider.

 

Read on:

 

Q. I was terminated in February of this year. I was offered 12 weeks of notice but my termination letter is silent about my 2022 bonus. Should I ask HR if this will be paid to me after termination? I only have a few weeks to sign back.

 

A. If your termination letter is silent about your bonus, that is probably because your employer does not intend to pay it even if you earned it. Often, employees remain entitled to earned bonus on termination. In fact, in addition to your 2022 bonus, you could be entitled to a portion of your 2023 bonus and even the bonus you would have earned during your notice period. A review of your employment agreement against your termination letter is a critical step to take before signing back.

 

Q. I was among a few thousand employees terminated from my company. In response to me asking my employer about my entitlements, HR sent me a list of jobs I could apply to. The jobs are not at my company, and some have nothing to do with marketing (the area I am trained in). I am so confused! Why would my employer send me this and do I have to apply to them?

 

A. When large-scale terminations happen, sometimes employers will remind employees that they are required to mitigate their damages and send along job postings for you to consider. You do not have any obligation to apply to the jobs your employer sent you, however, it’s not a bad idea to carefully review the postings. You are required to look for work after termination but you need only consider similar jobs at similar levels of pay compared to your previous job.

 

Q. A recruiter reached out to me about a pretty interesting job. I have been at my current employer for eight years. I am interested in the new job but I am scared if it doesn’t work out and I’m left with nothing. Any tips on how to approach this?

 

A. Leaving a long-term role should be done carefully. If you are being recruited, consider negotiating the job offer before accepting the new role. Potential negotiating points can include recognition of your years of service at your current job, a signing bonus (to compensate you for any bonus you are leaving behind), and relocation costs (if you have to move to accept the role), among other perks. Look to remove limiting clauses like probationary periods and non-competition clauses.

 

Q. We have an employee that resigned his employment to accept another job. He has asked us about when he will get his two weeks pay as well as a request that his record of employment indicates he was “dismissed.” Do we have to pay him anything and how should we fill out the record of employment?

 

A. If an employee resigns they are not entitled to pay beyond their last day worked. Always fill out records of employment truthfully. If your employee quit, that is what should be reflected.

 

Have a workplace issue? Maybe I can help! Email me at sunira@worklylaw.com and your question may be featured in a future column.

 

The content of this article is general information only and is not legal advice.

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