Wrongful Dismissal in Alberta: The Art of the Lowball Offer
The standard employer tactic that we encounter in terminations is the lowball offer. Certain employers love this tactic. They will offer an employer substantially less than they're entitled to under the common law. These cases are easy, as it can be fairly clear that employee are entitled to more, and in those cases we often advise employees to negotiate or sue. In other instances, the lowball offer is within the acceptable range, but at the materially lower end.
The problem with lowball offers in our view is that it immediately makes the situation adversarial. People who have not been through it have no idea how devastating it is emotionally to be fired. Employees understandably often have hard feelings as it is being wrongfully terminated. It adds fuel to the fire to give an unreasonable offer.
Another tactic that we have seen recently involves incredibly short time limits. Some employers give a day or two for employees to accept offers. This is unreasonable, and could cause the risk of making the contract unenforceable.
Employers, in an ideal world, would exercise some degree of empathy and simply give an offer that the employee would be entitled to. We do not live in an ideal world, unfortunately, so the next best thing is to have employee counsel advise employees on whether an offer is fair, and what next legal steps people should take.
If you have been fired and would like to know if the offer you have been given is fair, please feel free to 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.