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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Business Law
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Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I have worked full-time in Calgary months (Dec 9th, 2013-Oct

Customer Question

Hi, I have worked full-time for Shell in Calgary for 18 months (Dec 9th, 2013-Oct 15th 2015). I was laid off due to the decline in natural gas prices in North America with my last day in office September 30th, 2015 and last paid day of October 15th, 2015.
I was on a contract with Shell from June 2012-Dec 6th, 2013 in the same role at Shell while I was finishing my Master's degree at the University of Calgary. My salary for 2014 full-time status was 93,000, and in 2015 it was 97,900. My contract years were at
approximately $41/hr so roughly $80,000 per year (but contract had no benefits or bonus etc.). Shell has offerred me $12,400 for severance with a $4,000 credit with a job assistance company. The $12,400 if you divide my 97,900/year into weeks is approximately
6 weeks of pay. Do I have any claim for severence to the years on contract that were continual service leading into my full-time employment? Shell was hiring both bachelor degrees (I'm in geophysics) and Master's degrees, and I tried to negotiate with HR to
start full-time with benefits in June of 2012 as I already had a bachelor's degree like many of my colleagues at Shell, newly hired. I had to finish my Master's to gain full-time status and spent 19 months on the contract, essentially underpaid in both benefits
and yearly bonus and vacation time. Is $12,400 a fair number for the explanation above? and do I need counsel to negotiate with Shell representatives?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Business Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

If this went to court the court would consider all of the years you worked for Shell including those years where you were on contract. This is a continuous employment situation.

That means 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would you recommend approximately four number that would be appropriate? Is 12,400 on the low-end? Should I retain a lawyer and take this to court in your opinion what do you think the average outcome would be in this case? I realize you can't predict a definite answer but what is Your opinion on what you think I should do and do you think I have a case to go forward to ask for more? Or should I just except the 12,400 based on the information I gave you
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

I think that your best next step is to consult with an employment lawyer face to face with a view to retaining the lawyer to send the employer a letter threatening a lawsuit if you are not paid whatever you and the lawyer feels is fair.

The employer does not want to be dragged into court and so you will likely get a better offer.

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