Termination Tips for Employers

If you are an employer who is dismissing an employee without cause for termination, here are five tips to consider: 1. Be Kind Keep in mind that being terminated is tough on an employee. It involves a life change, and feelings can get in the way. Do what you can to minimize the impact on them, and keep the emotions to a minimum. The court may award increased damages if it finds the employee was treated unfairly in the termination. 2. Say it in Writing If you meet with an employee to terminate them, prepare a letter to them setting out the details, go over it with them at the meeting, and leave them with a copy. 3. Calculate Severance Pay Speak to a lawyer briefly beforehand to determine what the employee is entitled to as severance pay. Unless a written employment contract specifies otherwise, any long-term employee will likely be entitled to substantially more than the amount set out in the Employment Standards Act. The appropriate length of notice depends on a number of factors. A short discussion with a lawyer at this stage will save you a large amount of legal fees and other expenses down the road. 4. Get a Final Agreement If you are going to pay out severance over and above the statutory entitlement under the Employment Standards Act, you should get a release of all the employee’s potential claims, along with a signed letter detailing the terms of the termination. Getting a lawyer to help with both documents is money well spent because it will prevent you paying out, only to end up in court later. 5. Spell out the Ground Rules Make sure you have agreed on essential issues such as: • • • • whether the severance will be paid in a lump sum or as a salary continuance; whether the employee has an obligation to look for work and report those efforts to you; who will make tax deductions; and what information, client lists, phones, etc. need to be returned.

Once you have handed over the severance, you can’t expect you will be getting any concessions, so make it clear early.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon by you. The law is highly contextual and will be different depending on your individual circumstances. Further, the law is always changing, and the information herein may be out of date. This information is based on the law of British Columbia, Canada, and will be different in other jurisdictions. If you need legal advice, please contact us directly. Suite 208 4940 No. 3 Road Richmond B.C. Canada V6X 3A5 TELEPHONE: 604- 273-6411 FAX: 604-273-4512 www.cbelaw.com Cohen Buchan Edwards is a partnership of law corporations. *Provides legal services through a law corporation