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Legal Ease
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Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I moved job and my moving expenses were paid. I have a

Customer Question

I moved for a job and my moving expenses were paid. I have a pro-rated payback clause over two years, however my company yesterday cut my salary by 10%, if I quit would I need to repay the moving expenses since the terms of the agreement I moved for have changed?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 5 months ago.
Does the agreement say you have to pay them back even if they dismiss you? (I know you have not been dismissed).
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No, it says if I quit it would need to repay it, but if the company lets me go I don't have to repay. The wording does not give a difference between layoff or dismissal, it uses the phase other than the company's discretion
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
By signing this letter you agree that in the event you leave Tartan or any of its subsidiaries for reasons other than at the discretion of The Company, within two (2) years of your employment start date of August 17, 2015, you will pay back the amount paid to you on a prorated basis.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
That is right from the letter
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 5 months ago.
You can fight them then and here is why. 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. So the point is that they are effectively dismissing you. Your next step should be to consult with an employment lawyer face to face and should do so before making a decision.

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