Severance Question

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kkessler1
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Severance Question

Post by kkessler1 » 13 Oct 2017 10:40

My wife just got laid off and was offered a severance package consisting of multiple months of compensation. The separation agreement stated this clearly with no stipulations regarding such severance payout. It only stated the total, method, and time of payment. However the employer is now stating that if she is to take any interview or accept another job anywhere else before her final termination day she will not receive her severence compensation. Is this a normal method and how can they expect her to let them know if she interviews or accepts any job that wont start til after her termination date. Are they legally in anyway required to know this info? and can they use this info to withhold severance. Any and all help is much appreciated.

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AltaRed
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Re: Severance Question

Post by AltaRed » 13 Oct 2017 14:24

It will likely depend on which province she resides in, vis-a-vis labour laws. More clarity required.
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twa2w
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Re: Severance Question

Post by twa2w » 13 Oct 2017 14:49

I am not sure about having any interviews but if she accepted a job before her termination date, I suppose she would have to resign in order to take the new job which would negate her terminatiion.
( unless the new job started after the termination date)

Has the employer put this in writing anywhere? Was it just a manager talking or was this stated by HR.

I know that there are a few large national employers, who would have access to good legal advice, that no longer offer lump sum termination payments. Terminated employees are put on a 'salary continuance'. If they find a job before the continuance expires, then the salary stops. Interviews certainly don't affect this in any way. And any lump sum terminations prior to this policy were not affected by interviews or subsequent jobs.

Best to spent the money for a session with a lawyer and review the terms of the severance and anseer any questions. Most provincial bar associations have a lawyer referral service where you can get a short appointment for free or a nominal fee, with a lawyer in the field you require.

OhGreatGuru
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Re: Severance Question

Post by OhGreatGuru » 13 Oct 2017 15:47

Something about the employer's statements (or her understanding of them) doesn't make sense. It would actually be in the employer's interest if she did take interviews and seek another job, because they may then be able to limit her severance. She should seek clarification.

BRIAN5000
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Re: Severance Question

Post by BRIAN5000 » 13 Oct 2017 19:23

First time I heard about something like this was last night just before poker guy's wife was in same situation but I didn't ask for clarification. Two years pay as long as she doesn't get a new job. :shock:
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hamor
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Re: Severance Question

Post by hamor » 13 Oct 2017 22:39

'salary continuance'. If they find a job before the continuance expires, then the salary stops
correct. I was also offered a choice - salary continuance for a given time or one time payment of somewhat reduced amount.

zeno
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Re: Severance Question

Post by zeno » 13 Oct 2017 22:53

Severance payments are meant to cover the time it takes you to find another job. That's generally the guideline that courts take when they rule on how much severance an employee is owed.

This old G&M article is quite good on the topic

https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/report ... cle4098859

With that in mind, I do know that some employers state that the severance will be stopped if the laid off employee finds a job sooner. I've no idea if that is enforceable. I've never heard of it being stopped due to the laid off employee taking an interview. That would seem to be counter to the intent.

kkessler1
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Re: Severance Question

Post by kkessler1 » 17 Oct 2017 11:30

I very much appreciate all the replies

Start date for new position was a week after the termination date. Also no where in anything signed or presented to my wife states any stipulations of severance that would deny it being dispersed. This rule of interviewing before termination date or getting a new job altogether would negate her severance was only verbally stated by HR team. We may have to go speak with a lawyer as I cannot understand how they are required to know if she interviews or accepts a new job especially if nothing of that short is stated anywhere on the forms she signed.

thanks all

thedude99
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Re: Severance Question

Post by thedude99 » 22 Oct 2017 19:27

It may or not be written into the agreement but generally yes if you get a job in the period the severance is covered an employer is very much in their right to try and claw that back. They might have to take you to court to do that, but their argument will be very easy to make in court. The severance is based on how long it should/may take the person to find equivalent employment. If it turned out that period is only one week and they paid in excess of that, it would be hard to argue that the payment wasn't excessive. For the most part employers won't bother trying to claw this stuff back unless we are talking material amounts....both parties usually just want to move on with their lives.

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