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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 99474
Experience:  Lawyer
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My contract has been terminated after roughly 7 years with

Customer Question

Hello,
My contract has been terminated after roughly 7 years with the company (Quebec).
The reason is restructuring of the department. I have been offered a package but with the clause that if i get offered an "equivalent" position before my termination the package would be none and void. Now i have been offered a job which pays the same money in the same restructured department but the job has a different job description and responsibilities.
What is the legal description of equivalent for cases like this?
I feel that my employer just wants to get out of paying the package.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

The situation does sound like this may be a case of constructive dismissal.

When an employer does something that fundamentally changes the nature of the employment so that it drives the employee to quit, this may be a case of constructive dismissal. This is usually the case when the employer reduces wages, cuts hours etc. It is also the case where the employer's conduct makes it intolerable for the employee to continue working.

If an employee does quit under these circumstances then the law is that constructive dismissal is wrongful dismissal and the employer will be liable for damages.

If you are considering this option it is crucial that you first consult with an employment lawyer so that you can get a legal opinion from an expert both about whether the facts amount to constructive dismissal and, as well, about what damages you may be entitled to.

Generally the damages would be equal to what you would receive had you been dismissed without cause. If that had been the case you would have been 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.
Well they offered me a package but are now saying the job they are offering as a replacement is equivalent and therefor they don't pay the package. the question really is what the legal understanding is of "equivalent jobs" is it enough that the pay benefits and department are the same or do job function and responsibilities need to match as well?
i was hoping to get an answer from an employment lawyer :-)
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

The point is that they cannot materially changed your position. It cannot be a demotion. But it also cannot be a change that that is significant and you don't want.

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