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CHAUDHRI: Tech layoffs create a market for employers

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Canada’s labor shortage is a relic of past pandemics.

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Over the last few weeks, a looming recession has led to a number of blue chip and startup tech companies laying off staff.

Amazon recently announced it was laying off 100,000 employees this year.

On July 26, e-commerce giant Shopify laid off 10% of its workforce, adding nearly 1,000 workers to the unemployment line.

Clearco has announced layoffs of 25% of its workforce (125 employees). Wealthsimple said he laid off 159 employees in June. Carvana Co, an online car dealer, laid off his 2,500 employees in May. Cryptocurrency exchange company Coinbase has announced the layoff of 18% of its workforce, or nearly 1,000 employees.

This list is just a sample of the exits we’ll be seeing across the industry this year.

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Of particular note are the softer terms that companies and the media are using to describe these layoffs. The terms “downsizing”, “reduction” and “layoff” all mean the same thing. These employees have been permanently laid off and, in some cases, may be sued for unfair dismissal damages, especially if they are employed in Canada.

When employers announce layoffs in the media, many use press releases to share details of the severance packages given to employees, and in some cases refer to them as “generous.” Companies may claim this for publicity or other reasons, but they don’t. Terminated employees are required to conduct their own due diligence when terminated to determine their rights and entitlements in the event of termination.

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Ending a group can be mind-bending. Employees may feel more pressure to relent rather than contest the offer of dismissal, to let go and move on for the greater good of the company. Take pity on your former colleague and look for greener pastures. Don’t fall for the trap.

Employees should consider their careers and futures, especially given the bleak prospects for rehiring in some industries. Thousands of employees are currently looking for jobs. Employers have their choice. The competition will be fierce. Additionally, termination continues.

If you are released from the tech industry, you will receive salaries and benefits such as:

salary — Although the severance notice may be declaring itself generous, considering how long it takes to find a similar job and comparing it to a salary offer, often called the notice period. wise.

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Bonus — If you worked to earn a bonus but were fired before the payment date, you may still be entitled to a pro rata portion of the bonus for your efforts. Additionally, you may be entitled to any lost bonus earnings during the notice period.

stock option — If you were granted options at or during your employment, those options may vest even if you are terminated. If these options appear to be profitable immediately, exercising them can be profitable.

Vesting and Non-Vesting Long/Short-Term Incentives and RSU Plans — If variable compensation is earned through LTIP or STIP, these plans may still vest after termination. You will also be entitled to receive any STIP/LTIP you may have earned during the notice period.

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health benefits — In many cases, employees continue to receive medical and dental benefits after retirement.

Even if your employer does not offer these benefits or payments when you leave, you are still entitled to them. Before you sign a retirement package, ask for any improvements you can to weather the storm of the recession.

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Continuing with this week’s question.

Q. During the pandemic, I was able to work from home. I was suffering from alcoholism. So admit that you missed important moments at work, such as sometimes missing meetings and deadlines. I also missed a very important 1:1 with my boss. I am thankfully on the road to recovery, but I know I am not in a positive position at work. I am in counseling and seeing a doctor, but I am afraid I will lose my job. Any advice would be appreciated.

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A. Addiction is a recognized disability under human rights law. If you are seeking treatment as a result of alcoholism or addiction, you may be entitled to accommodation at work as a result of your disability. You can consider accessing short-term disability benefits or submit a medical note to Human Resources regarding any restrictions or accommodations you may need while receiving treatment for your disability. Failure to provide medical information to your employer could jeopardize your role. Employees are required to participate in the accommodation process, which begins by working with their medical team to provide their employer with general information about medical facilities they may need while seeking treatment. .

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Q. I work on the Human Resources team and have had to reorganize many departments, leading to the layoff of a group of companies. I won’t go into details, but some of the employees who were laid off have filed complaints that they never filed with Human Resources during their employment. Should the HR department investigate a dismissed employee’s complaint?

A. We encourage you to investigate complaints, especially if they relate to current employees. If the complaint was not brought to Human Resources, it is important to identify the reasons. If there are internal obstacles that employees feel they cannot complain to HR, this should be addressed. Investigations may also be useful in the event of a lawsuit. It is important to obtain legal advice regarding any investigation that may be initiated, especially if the claim is sensitive in nature.

Having trouble at work? Maybe I can help!

Please send an email to sunira@worklylaw.com. Your question may be addressed in a future column.

The content of this article is general information and not legal advice.

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CHAUDHRI: Tech layoffs create a market for employers

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