I have negotiated hundreds of severance packages over the years and in most cases have been able to negotiate increases and improvements to initial severance packages offered by employers.

A non-union employee who is dismissed without cause is entitled to notice of the termination of their employment or payment of damages for the failure to provide working notice.  Usually an employer will not provide working notice and instead offers a severance package for the employee’s consideration.

It is important that any employee who receives a severance package seek legal advice as soon as possible  to determine the amount of damages that they are entitled to and whether the severance package provides the compensation that they are legally entitled to.  The first thing the employment lawyer will examine is any contract of employment to determine if it limits notice or damage entitlement and then determine if the contract is enforceable [See Employment Contracts].  In the absence of an enforceable contract the employer will be obligated to pay the employee damages for the loss of remuneration during the reasonable period of notice.

What may appear to be a reasonable severance offer by an employer on termination may turn out to only compensate for a period of time less than the notice period that the employee is entitled to in law, or may only compensate for some but not all components of an employee’s damages during the notice period.

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