Alberta Wrongful Dismissal: Class Actions in a Time of Covid
One of the trends we have started noticing due to Covid is that businesses have been firing a number of people at once. While we occasionally see offers from employers that are exactly where they should be, unfortunately many employers give lowball offers. As we have discussed previously, severance that an employee is entitled to is determined by the Bardal factors, which include the salary the employee made at termination (see our article on how severance is determined: https://www.flodenward.com/post/how-is-severance-calculated-in-alberta .
So if the Bardal factors lead to a relatively low severance amount, such that having the individual retain counsel doesn't make sense, does that mean employees are out of options? One of the remedies Floden Ward LLP will be employing is the Class Action Lawsuit. A Class Action Lawsuit is when a lawsuit is brought on behalf of a number of people. The advantage of this is that employees are able to leverage their numbers, and minimize their costs collectively. Termination class actions have the additional complexity that the severance has to be determined individually.
Class Actions can also be useful in cases involving toxic workplaces where harassment is a problem.
Class Actions add a fair amount of complexity to a lawsuit which is beyond the scope of this article to discuss (have to leave room for future articles).
If you have been part of a mass firing and wish to consider a class action lawsuit, please contact us.
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.