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I received a letter yesterday that said to be financially…

I received a letter yesterday...
I received a letter yesterday that said to be financially prudent a position would be streamlined, and I would assume the duties associated with Accounts payable as of Jan 1, 2018. Last year, a staff performed the accounts receivable and payable role, and when she left was not replaced. I filled in, but was paid 8-10 extra hours a week to do this job. I am now concerned that they feel I will have alot less work due to the fact we have lost the lead agency role. I do agree with this, but am very concerned I will not be able to complete this work during regular hours, it was a burden last year. I would like to respond, very little notice was given despite the fact the non profit charity I work for in Ontario knew about this. I have worked for the agency for 29 years and we have always been underfunded. They feel that in comparison to centres equivalent in size, the finance "person" is usually responsible for both A/R and A/P. they have "given" A/R to another staff who is concerned about the time involved. I would like to respond, I am concerned about the time involved, how will I be compensated if the hours are over my regular hours (I received 35 hours a year in lieu of overtime) as a supervisor. I have not been provided an updated job description in about 8 years. The Director in charge is new and on probation until next April, and the Board has hired a "mentor" to work with her. I think alot of the guidance is coming from the mentor. Thank you. Mary Ontario
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Answered in 1 hour by:
12/7/2017
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,042
Experience: Lawyer
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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.

Are you saying you don't want your job description to change and they are insisting on it?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I don't know, they haven't updated job descriptions in a while, and haven't mentioned it. From what I see, the consultant is trying to have the new Director learn new skills through me, e.g budgeting, but I am afraid then I will have the lower skill type jobs like accounts payable after she's learned all the ropes. I am currently the finance manager, but with changes coming, I am worried I will be overloaded with jobs with the expectation they will be done. We are a non profit charity, I'd like to know how to respond as I realize there are financial concerns, but I'm also worried my job is changing in such a way they may so they don't really need somebody with my skills or level of pay if the new director is to learn everything. For instance, I attended Board meetings for 28 years, and now I'm being told by the Director she's not sure if I should go, but she'd like me to teach her the budgeting, etc so she can present it. I'd like to know if this is somehow constructive dismissal, almost in reverse?
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hi I'm not sure I need to call you at this point unless they try to change my job enough in that they try to reduce my pay based on what I am doing.

I think if your fears come true then it is clearly constructive dismissal.

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.

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Hi I don't want to quit,I have been there 29 years, I am 55 and basically do enjoy the job. We are run by a volunteer Board of Directors, have been through a few difficult years, and there is alot of distrust. Do you think I should respond to this letter regarding my concerns about hours and possible burnout. Can my pay be lowered if they feel the job I am doing is no longer of that calibre, can they give parts of my job away to the new inexperienced Director and say I am doing a different job? If so, how much notice is required? Is it better to quit or stay on if this happens? I live in a small town, and there are no employment lawyers. I'd have to go out of town. Thank you very much.

Yes I do think you should respond by letter.

If they drop your pay then it's classic constructive dismissal. After 29 years and your age the damages would be substantial and they would be fools to do that.

If it happens and you want to sue you have to quit.

Yes see a lawyer in the closest bigger city.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
What should I say in the letter? I was thinking of saying I had reviewed it, I was told I would assume more duties, a job that had taken somebody (and myself) approximately 8-10 hours a week. That's why I think they may give me that job, and perhaps try to take away some of the higher calibre work. I am one of the top earners at the daycare, and in trying to address budgeting issues, I feel it's a bit of brainwashing going on with the new Director by the consultant and funders. I think they are the only ones getting rich here, and don't want somebody in charge that knows too much. They would like to groom the new Director, and don't want any interference I believe. You probably think this is something only country hicks would do (small town for sure!)

I think you should say you love your job and are very concerned because based on what you were told you are of the view that they may be planning to change your job description and remove the higher level work and that you most assuredly do not want to lose those responsibilities.

Debra
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I'm also concerned about the workload. If I can't keep up it may look like I'm not competent. They've already over loaded other staff and then took the job away and just gave it to someone else. I do love my job but now it's come down to funding. I don't feel they've done all they can to improve things they should be working more on bringing in money than overworking employees. If things go really south should I consult a lawyer before I quit?

Yes you should definitely not quit before speaking to a lawyer.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you very much for your help I hope it doesn't go that way.

I do too.

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