Calculating severance? There’s an app for that

Toronto law firm launches app designed for employers, employees
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/14/2013

The law firm leading a lawsuit against Ontario’s Ministry of Labour hotline for allegedly not giving the complete story about employer obligations and employee entitlements on termination has launched an app that calculates severance pay.

The Severance Calculator, designed for iPhone and iPad, calculates a severance amount based on a list of questions, including:

•age

•position

•years worked.

It also has an “employer mode” employers can use to calculate a fair severance package, thus reducing the possibility of a lawsuit, the law firm said.

“Many employers and the majority of terminated employees have a very limited understanding of the way severance is calculated and how much should be paid,” said Lior Samfiru, partner, employment and labour law, Samfiru Tumarkin LLP in Toronto. “This means that most employees that lose their job accept grossly inadequate severance without even realizing it. People who have recently lost their job often don’t know that they should do their due diligence and consult a lawyer, even if they do, when faced with unemployment uncertainty, legal advice just isn’t in the budget.”

The law firm said the app is applicable across Canada, not just in Ontario.

The lawsuit the firm is spearheading is in relation to advice two terminated workers got from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour helpline. The workers accepted the legal minimum of eight weeks’ severance in Ontario after being on the job for 22 years and 15 years respectively. The law firm said their “full legal entitlement” was 24 months’ severance, and they are suing the province.

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