Fired, Laid Off or Dismissed? Follow These 4 Steps
As an employee, your fundamental rights are protected by Quebec labour laws. If you have been laid off, fired, or dismissed unjustly, or you have received a severance offer you feel is insufficient, follow these steps:
1. DON’T SIGN ANYTHING
Anything you say or sign could limit the legal recourse you have against your employer. You are never obligated to accept the first offer you receive nor sign the severance letter your employer presents to you.
2. SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY
Before hiring an attorney, schedule a consultation so you can learn about your rights and find out what courses of action are available to you. Many attorneys provide a free consultation, offering you a no-risk opportunity to learn about your rights and find out options you have to bring the situation to a resolution.
During your consultation, the attorney you meet with can evaluate the circumstances and facts of your case and:
- Inform you about which courses of action are available to you.
- Give you an idea of the results you may be able to achieve or compensation you may be entitled to.
- Present an overview of legal and negotiation strategies that can be used.
- Discuss your budget and billing options available to you.
3. ATTEMPT AN AMICABLE RESOLUTION
When you decide to move forward with a legal claim, the first step is always to try to resolve the
situation between you and your employer amicably. This may involve sending a letter or other
correspondence, as well as meetings and negotiations.
If successful, a new agreement or severance package will be created in which you and the
employer agree on an amount to be paid to you in exchange for your agreement to not pursue
further legal action.
4. TAKE LEGAL ACTION
If an amicable resolution is impossible, you can take appropriate legal measures to obtain a
settlement in your favour.
Before having a lawyer commence legal action for you, make sure you understand the method
of billing and any fees involved. You may be responsible for paying disbursements, which are
legal fees such as court and bailiff fees.