In a wrongful dismissal matter, it is often the first time you may be consulting with a lawyer. Anything that is unfamiliar in life is often intimidating or at the very least, uncomfortable. At Boire Law, our goal is to always ensure that when a client leaves an initial meeting, they understand their rights and know their options.
Information is empowering. Ultimately, it is always the client’s decision as to what course of action to take. But if you are the client then you should only do so once you understand what your rights are.
During the course of your 1 hour consultation (which is given at a reduced fee), important information is gathered from you, including:
- commencement date of employment,
- title and description of position,
- the details of your remuneration package including type of pension plan (defined benefit or defined contribution), group health insurance benefits including whether there is short term and long term disability, life insurance, stock options, etc.
As well, if there is an employment contract, the terms of the contract are reviewed to determine whether there is a termination provision and if so, whether the provision is enforceable given the wording of the provision and the circumstances of signing the contract.
In order to ensure that other issues are covered off, questions surrounding human rights issues will be posed such as:
- whether your position has been eliminated, or
- whether you have been off on disability leave in the last 12 months, or
- if you have just returned from a maternity leave, etc.
As well, there will be questions asked concerning management’s treatment of you in order to determine whether there has been bullying or harassment in your workplace.
Once all the relevant information is gathered from you, an overview is given on the law on wrongful dismissal. You will be advised of your rights under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (Canada Labour Code if federally regulated) and your rights at common law.
You will be able to ask questions concerning your rights under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 and at common law so that everything is clear to you. The severance package is reviewed at this point with you and the terms are compared to what your entitlements are at law. You will be in a better position to assess your severance package by knowing what the best case scenario is at law.
Various options are then outlined to you with our comments.
The initial consultation ends with you either deciding to proceed and instructing counsel to try to negotiate a better package on your behalf or alternatively, you can sign off on your package, now understanding what you are receiving in relation to your rights at law.