Calgary Termination Lawyers

A well-drafted and legally enforceable termination package, also known as a severance package, is almost as critical to a functional workplace relationship as an employment agreement. Poorly written or unenforceable termination provisions can result in significant legal and financial liability and may lead to costly litigation.

If you are an employer who is considering terminating an employee, or you are an employee who has been fired, laid off or furloughed, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable employment lawyer as soon as possible to protect yourself and manage your risk.

At DBH Law in Calgary, our team of experienced and knowledgeable employment lawyers has been drafting and reviewing termination and severance packages for more than a quarter-century. We work with both employees and employers and our track record of excellence and number of former and current client referrals speaks for itself.

Termination and Severance Packages in Alberta

A well-written severance package includes clearly drafted termination pay provisions. Termination pay is the compensation an employee receives when they are terminated from their employment in lieu of reasonable notice. Legally, employers must provide either reasonable notice of the termination to employees or must provide them with pay to compensate for that time. Most employees in Alberta who are terminated without cause will qualify for termination pay, with some exceptions.

The minimum lengths and amounts are outlined by employment legislation such as the Alberta Employment Standards Code. This means that employers are legally not permitted to provide less than this base threshold amount of notice of pay in lieu of notice.

However, in addition to the minimum amount of notice that employers are obligated to provide under provincial legislation, a fair and reasonable severance package will also be impacted by a number of other factors, including:

  • The length of the employee’s service with the company;
  • The nature of the work;
  • The age of the employee;
  • The way in which the employee was dismissed;
  • The reason for the termination;
  • The ability of the employee to find similar work following termination.

Consideration of these factors can result in a more subjective approach to what is reasonable in a given situation, and this is often where legal disputes over severance packages originate.

How DBH Law Can Help

When faced with a termination situation, it is crucial for both the employer and the employee to obtain legal advice before a formal agreement to terms is agreed to.

For employers, it is imperative that the severance package be tailored to each individual terminated employee. Employers should never rely on standard or template packages that have not been modified for the specific circumstances in each termination. The decision to terminate and the termination package itself should always be reviewed by a knowledgeable employment lawyer with significant experience advising employers on same.

For employees, it is equally important to have an employment lawyer review the severance package to ensure that it is lawful and enforceable, and to help determine whether the terms presented match their legal entitlements. Even if an employee believes that the severance package is fair, or if the employee is happy with its terms and conditions, an employment lawyer should always be consulted.

Contact DBH Law for Guidance on Termination Packages

If you are an employer who is considering terminating an employee, or you are an employee who has been fired, contact DBH Law in Calgary as soon as possible. The lawyers and staff of DBH Law rely on our many years of experience to provide our individual and business clients with responsive and concise legal advice they can trust. Contact us online or by phone at 403-252-9937 to discover how we can help you today.