EXECUTIVES AND MANAGERS

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Useful Information and useful answers for all your needs.

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Executives and Managers

Useful Information


» Executive Dismissal
» Employment Contract Building
» Labour and Employment Mediations
» Labour and Employment Arbitrations
» Peace of Mind/Second Opinions
» Labour and Employment Issues with Executives

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Useful Answers


Should I have my lawyer negotiate my employment contract or should I do it myself?

A contract negotiation is a very complex process. A lot depends on what the impact of bringing in a lawyer into the equation would have on the relationship between you and your potential employer. Sometimes the impact would be a positive one and the employer will have no problem dealing with your lawyer. Other times the impact will be extremely negative and the employer will feel very sour about being asked to deal with your lawyer. However, even if a lawyer is not negotiating your contract, they can still advise you on which clauses of the contract benefit you, which are damaging for you and which modifications you should suggest.

I’m worried that I may be let go. What do I do?

When you’re worried that something of that nature is about to happen at work it is always best to see someone before it happens rather than after. Therefore, we always recommend that our clients who are worried they might be dismissed see a lawyer immediately. However, it is very important not to panic. Rationally consider why it is that you are worried about being let go. In our experience, sometimes our clients are quite correct to worry that they may be let go, and at other times they are worrying for nothing. If your worries are unfounded, you will gain peace of mind. If your worries are well founded, then we are able to offer you advice on all of your options and ensure that you can move forward with confidence.

General steps that we recommend our clients take while they are worried about being let go are the following:
1. Do not try and solve the problem by yourself. Confronting your employer or your immediate manager, however tempting that might be, will only be used against you and to your employer’s advantage later. This is as true for a client who is 100% right as for a client who may be at fault.
2. Do not use office communications for anything that you want kept private. At a time when your company may be investigating you, you should avoid using your office landline, computer, email, fax or any other office method of communication for anything you would like kept private. This is an important precaution.

I’ve been let go. What do I do now?

A job dismissal is one of the most emotional and terrifying legal problems, right after family and criminal problems. However, being let go does not mean that you are out of options; a lot will depend on the circumstances of your dismissal.

Often, you will have the right to significant severance payments, assistance in finding a new job or reinstatement. A lot depends on the reason why your employer is letting you go and what your employer is offering you. While being let go may feel like the end of your career and feel as though nothing will ever be the same, the truth is that it is rarely the end or ruin of your career. Usually, things can be arranged so that you are not left in a weak or vulnerable position.

We recommend in cases of executive dismissal that our clients come to see us as soon as they learn that that they are being let go. Furthermore, we highly recommend that our clients do not sign anything before seeing us. We are able to help our clients understand their rights, understand their options and to help them obtain the best result possible. We pride ourselves on our ability to give our clients excellent advice. This ensures that they get the best possible compensation from their former employers and that they are able to move forward confidently in their careers.

I’ve been offered a severance package and I would like to know if it’s fair

Being offered a severance package is a very difficult and confusing experience. You need to ensure that you are receiving a fair package which reflects what you are entitled to and will allow you to move forward without having to worry. At the same time, you also want to ensure that you are not giving away any of your rights for less than they are worth.

Determining if a severance package is fair is complex because legal standards are constantly evolving. Therefore, there are several factors that need to be considered. There is no hard and fast rule for what is or is not a fair severance package.

However, in general, the most important factors to consider when assessing a severance package are:

1. The experience of the executive.
2. The age of the executive.
3. Salary and benefits received.
4. The number of years of service at the company.
5. The position of the executive.
6. The prospects/desire to be rehired of the executive.
7. The financial position of the company
8. How the company has treated other executives in similar situations in the past.
9. Recent legal jurisprudence on severance packages.

Keep in mind that a severance document usually requires an employee to make several commitments and waive all future rights against the company. We therefore recommend that executives show us the severance package they are being offered before they sign it. While an executive might have an excellent negotiating position before they have signed a severance agreement, they will have a very poor negotiating position after they have signed.

I believe there I may soon be facing harassment charges against me at work/There’s been a harassment complaint made against me, what should I do?

Harassment charges are an extremely upsetting and nerve racking experience for anyone to go through. However, with the right approach, the complaint can be dealt with. Harassment charges need not ruin or destroy your career. However, in order to obtain the best results, it is important that the complaints process be handled very carefully. Harassment complaints are complicated and there is a lot at risk. In general, we advise our clients to do the following when facing a situation in which they may be accused of harassment:

1. Do not try and solve the problem by yourself. Confronting the complainant, however tempting that might be, will only be used against you and to the complainant’s advantage later. This is as true for a client who is 100% right as for a client who may be at fault.
2. Do not use office communications for anything that you want kept private. At a time when your company may be investigating you, you should avoid using your office landline, computer, email, fax or any other office method of communication for anything you would like kept private. This is an important precaution.
3. As horrible as it is sounds, don’t make assumptions as to who your workplace friends and your company will support. It’s important to realize that office disputes are complex and very divisive. When one person at the company makes a complaint against another, the situation becomes very complicated, very confusing and there is a lot at stake for everyone. Therefore, it is usually best not to confide in anyone and not to make any assumptions as to who the company and other employees will support. This doesn’t mean that your case is bad or that other people will not support you, it simply means that is best not to rely too much on other employees or the company in a situation like this.

In general, when a situation like this arises, we recommend that our clients come see us so we can give them a better idea of where they stand. We can then help them navigate through the process so that they can secure the best possible result.

What is constructive dismissal? What should I do if I’m the object of a constructive dismissal?

Constructive dismissal is a negative change in your working conditions. There is no rule which applies to every case, as the specifics vary greatly from case to case. However, there are some important signs to watch out for that may be significant enough for you to exercise your rights.

Some important signs of a constructive dismissal are:
1. Salary reduction.
2. Losing job responsibilities.
3. Losing your rank with respect to other employees.
4. Losing your rank with respect to the company’s organizational structure.
5. Losing perks such as benefits or having your own office.

In general, constructive dismissal is a very complex area to navigate. If you feel you are the victim of a negative change in your working conditions, it is important that you act quickly. If you do not, then you are presumed to have accepted the changes and consequentially lose your rights to make a complaint about them. The real trick is to balance exercising your rights within the time limit and not jumping the gun. A problem in the workplace such as being demoted or being treated poorly should not go unattended. However, it is important not to make a mountain out of a molehill. We recommend that our clients come see us with these questions because the area is complicated and almost everything depends on the particular circumstances of the client’s case.