Wrongful Dismissal & Severance Calculation: Does how long I worked with my employer matter?



Wrongful Dismissal & Severance Calculation: Does how long I worked with my employer matter?

Yes it does, certainly – but remember the golden rule – EACH WRONGFUL DISMISSAL CASE IS DECIDED ON IT’S OWN FACTS.

The time you spent working with your employer is called your “length of service”.  Your length of service is an important factor in the determination of how much severance or reasonable notice you will be paid. A court certainly gives significant weight to how many years you have spent with your employer.  In the leading British Columbia decision of Ansari v. British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, the Court stated that

For reasons which are largely subjective and which I would not presume to disturb, the law requires a longer notice period for a long-term employee even though discharged employees of the same age, skill and responsibility suffering under the same economic factors must be assumed to require an equal period to obtain equivalent employment. The reasons for this anomaly may be that a long-term employee has a moral claim which has matured into a legal entitlement to a longer notice period.

The Court in another  renown case (Suttie v. Metro Transit Operating Co.) –  said it perfectly:

…the longer an individual has worked for an employer the more difficult it is to obtain alternate employment.

It is also important to note that reasonable notice (or your severance as it is often called) is not calculated by a “rule of thumb” of one month per year, despite what you might have heard. All the relevant factors must be considered and weighed by the court in determining reasonable notice. This point is particularly important in short service cases where notice can be much greater than ”a month per year of service.”

Overemphasizing length of service and either ignoring or under-weighing other factors in the calculation of severance is an error in principle.   Your employer needs to take it into consideration.

If you have been unfairly terminated or wrongfully dismissed please call Hamilton employment lawyers 905-333-8888 or speak to our live chat operator who will be happy to help you with your termination or wrongful dismissal issues.  We are lawyers in Hamilton that specialize in disability claims, life changing personal injury, wrongful death and employment law related matters.