Section 56 of the Alberta Employment Standards Code (“ESC”) governs the minimum termination notice that an employer must give an employee to terminate their employment as follows:
- 1 week, if you have been employed for more than 3 months but less than 2 years;
- 2 weeks, if you have been employed for 2 years or more but less than 4 years
- 4 weeks, if you have been employed for 4 years or more but less than 6 years
- 5 weeks, if you have been employed for 6 years or more but less than 8 years
- 6 weeks, if you have been employed for 8 years or more but less than 10 years; and
- 8 weeks, if you have been employed for 10 years or more.
An employer may pay an employee termination pay in lieu of notice or a combination of both.
However, this is only the MINIMUM. Common law outcomes have usually dictated more flexible results, depending on the nature of the industry.
Courts usually begin their analysis of what constitutes reasonable notice by looking at the 1960’s ruling in Bardal v. Globe Mail Ltd. (1960), where the key factors considered are:
- Position of employment
- Length of service of the employee
- Age of the employee
- Level of compensation; and
- Availability of similar employment
We will assess your Severance Package in detail in order to determine whether your notice period is reasonable, and whether you have been clearly compensated for the following in addition to salary received:
- Overtime Pay
- Vacation Pay
- Bonus Pay
The monetary compensation owed to you as a result of termination is classified as Specific damages.
In addition, we will assess if you are potentially owed:
- General Damages – Non-monetary losses such as the tort of mental suffering, pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life;
- Punitive Damages – Meant to punish bad, harsh and malicious behaviour; and
- Aggravate Damages – Intangible loss such as mental distress and moral damages
There is also a Duty to Mitigate placed as an obligation on an employee to minimize the impact of the circumstances attached as a result of termination. Seeking replacement employment is one of the key factors considered in this case.
If you have questions about your particular situation, please contact one of our employment lawyers today.
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