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October 30, 2021

When lay offs become permanent

Whether it starts with wage rollbacks, reduced workweeks or unpaid leaves of absence, being laid off is hard.

But being told you’re being downsized, when you’re really being fired, is much worse,

Too often, employers – either because it has a better ring to it, reduces the emotional pain, or implies that the decision actually had little to do with any one individual – prefer to characterize job loss as a lay off. 
But don’t be fooled, warns Toronto employment lawyer Bram Lecker. Allowing someone to convince you that “this is just temporary” when it really isn’t can cost you if you’re not careful.

Employers are required to inform laid-off employees of their true intentions so that harried workers can get on with life and find suitable alternate employment. If not, the consequences will be an enhanced severance package for bad-faith dismissal, he says.

In a recent court case, Lecker notes, a restaurant manager with three years of service successfully sued for wrongful dismissal after he was laid off in March but subsequently told in August that his job had actually disappeared altogether.  

For other cautionary tips on being laid off, click here

Tell us: Have you seen temporary turn to permanent this way? Were things handled fairly?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...