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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I have just received a severance package from my company due

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****. I have just received a severance package from my company due to restructuring. I believe the financial terms of the offer are fair and reasonable. The one area I have an issue with are the health and medical benefits. I am currently 52 years old and will turn 55 in May of 2018. The benefits are covered under the severance package until June, 2017. The minimum age for me to receive retiree health and dental benefits is 55. I have been with the company for 29 years and they are unwilling to bridge the benefits to age 55 and allow me to receive the retiree benefits. I believe this is really just an question of morals and ethics, but I thought i would at least ask if there is a legal precedent that would work in my favour.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have just received a severance package from my company due to restructuring. I believe the financial terms of the offer are fair and reasonable. The one area I have an issue with are the health and medical benefits. I am currently 52 years old and will turn 55 in May of 2018. The benefits are covered under the severance package until June, 2017. The minimum age for me to receive retiree health and dental benefits is 55. I have been with the company for 29 years and they are unwilling to bridge the benefits to age 55 and allow me to receive the retiree benefits. I believe this is really just an question of morals and ethics, but I thought i would at least ask if there is a legal precedent that would work in my favour.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $39) to post your type of question to Canada Law Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: yes
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Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

What province is this please?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I live in Alberta and my employer is headquartered in Ontario.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

The law is that you are 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.

Further, you are entitled to receive all the benefits that you were receiving while employed during all of these weeks or months of termination pay.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I understand and I am OK with the financial severance package that the company has offered. What I have an issue is their unwillingness to bridge the 29 month gap between my termination date and the date that I would be entitled to receive retiree health and dental benefits. I know that morally and ethically what the company is doing is wrong (ie laying someone off just before they reach the age of entitlement). My question is whether or not what they are doing is any way outside of what the law allows?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 12 months ago.

Yes I know you are happy with what they offered and the law is the have to pay you benefits for the full time.

So if they offered you one year's salary as severance then they have to give you benefits for one year.

So if they offered you enough months there is nothing you can do about the benefits.

But if they didn't meet the criteria that I explained then you may need to consider asking for more.

There is another issue and if you think you were dismissed because of your age the that is discrimination and unlawful and then you could either file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission or sue for damages.

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