Should you accept your employers’ settlement offer or ask for more?
You have worked for this employer for twelve years. Your employment standards legislation entitles you to eight weeks of notice. Your employer offers you five months (almost 21 weeks) if you sign a release. Your lawyer tells you that you are likely to get 9 to 12 months if you engage their services. Accepting the offer and signing the release will get you the five months but you can’t ask for more. What should you do? Good question and the answer is – it depends.
If you don’t accept the offer, the law requires that you make reasonable efforts to mitigate your damages. What is mitigation?
It is minimizing the effects of the breach caused by the party at fault. Since an employer is required to pay appropriate notice they are in breach if they don’t. In employment law mitigation means doing a legitimate and reasonable job search. Whatever you earn once you land a new job would be deducted from whatever your lawyer might get you. This doesn’t include statutory notice owing by the employer. That is not subject to deduction. If you get a job shortly after your termination and it pays you what you were earning before, you are entitled to nothing more than what the employment standards legislation mandates. Now that original offer looks pretty good and you wish you had accepted it!
What a dilemma! So much depends on how quickly you might find something new. Sadly no one has a crystal ball. Here are some considerations:
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