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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99399
Experience:  Lawyer
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I was called to a meeting with the CAO and HR late Friday

Customer Question

I was called to a meeting with the CAO and HR late Friday afternoon. The CAO said based on things he has seen or heard internally and externally he believes I am unhappy at my job so they would like to offer me an opportunity to enter into an agreement
for financial compensation whereby I would no longer be employed. I have worked in this position - non-union/management for municipal government - for almost 15 years with exemplary performance reviews until March of 2013 when the retirement of my supervisor
resulted in the re-organization with the CAO taking on direct supervision of my division, which consists of 4 people in 3 departments. I was told I didn't have to finish out the day and that I would be emailed the standard template Memorandum of Settlement
and final release. The document was blank except that the clause stating I would submit a letter of resignation had been completed with Monday's date. I have not had a performance appraisal since the re-structuring and there have been no complaints or warnings
or reprimands against my work. The work I do is specialized and I have over 30 years experience. There is no opportunity for similar work in my area. I do not know at this point what is being offered, I have nothing to consider although I was advised on Friday
that I should think about things and let them know Monday what I would like to do. I do not plan on signing anything tomorrow and plan on simply stating that I would like the offer in writing and that I need time to discuss it with my family and my legal counsel.
Based on what I have read, I understand I am legally entitled to 8 weeks termination notice or equivalent pay in lieu and severance pay of one week per year service and that I cannot be forced to sign a release because they are statutorily obligated to pay
it. My questions relate to the meeting tomorrow ... I know the CAO will again have HR with the laptop taking notes. Am I entitled to receive a copy of the notes? Can I record the meeting - either with or without letting them know? Does acceptance of a cheque
represent acceptance of the terms? If I say I am not prepared to accept what is offered (most likely the minimum) and I am given a letter of termination, what should I do? Obviously I need to remain calm and non-confrontational but is there anything specific
that I should or should not say?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

What province is this please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ontario
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are correct in that you have decided to tell them that you cannot give them an answer without seeing something in writing and getting independent legal advice.

You do not have a right to any of their notes.

You may make an audio recording of any conversation that you are party too.

However you're not quite correct about the law. You are entitled to more than you think. In fact you're entitled to receive reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Generally, in determining what is reasonable notice Courts look at several factors including the length of time you worked for the employer, your age, your position, the likelihood of finding new employment etc.

At the high end, if you were in a managerial position, the Court would likely order one month's notice or pay in lieu of notice for each year of employment. If you were not in a managerial position the Court would order somewhat less.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am management non-union and for the majority of my tenure considered part of the senior management group.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Then you are entitled to one month per year most likely.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The chain is the CAO, supervisors then my level of management .. I do not supervise anyone though .. I am a one person department
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You were still up there and it is a lot of years. The amount may be capped at something less then it would be if you were the CEO for example but it's still well worth your time to see employment lawyer face-to-face.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had my meeting this morning .. unfortunately before I heard from you... I have contacted a labour lawyer who has basically confirmed what you said .. I was given a verbal offer today but have nothing other than the dollar amount quoted. I was told I could go home and talk to my family but don't know for how long .. he wants an answer by Wednesday morning
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Well it doesn't matter that he wants an answer by Wednesday morning. Nothing is compelling you to give that answer because they are not offering you a generous offer.

In fact you are being offered less than a court would offer. So I suggest that you retain a lawyer and have them lawyer send them a letter and have the lawyer try to negotiate a fair settlement and threaten a lawsuit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was able to get in touch with a lawyer. I am much more at peace than I was .. because I don't have anything in writing, he suggested I email and reject the verbal offer and force his hand either to terminate me or let me know when I should come back to work. I appreciate your time and it is reassuring to hear the information you are giving mirrors his... thank you
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome.

I hope this works out.

Take good care.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I do a followup ? I have never seen my personnel file. Others that have been in this situation have said documents were falsified or conjured up... Do I have to give advance notice to look at my file? Can I be refused?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can information in a personnel file be used anywhere other than for business purposes within that organization/
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Unless you end up in court, you don't actually have a right to see what is in the file. You can ask for it but there's no way to compel it.

There is no law that says they cannot share information in your file with other departments. But if they are falsified then this would be a form of defamation and you could sue for damage to your reputation.

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