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March 25, 2020

Employee Lay-offs During the COVID Crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented set of challenges for employers and employees. In Ontario, many companies have faced sudden and precipitous declines in business. As of March 25th, non-essential businesses have been ordered to close, and many of those that remain open have been forced to rapidly implement work from home arrangements for essential staff, while closing their offices to the public.

These economic realities have led many businesses to lay-off some or all of their employees. For many employees, this has made an already challenging situation untenable as they face an indefinite future without any income. In these difficult circumstances, it is important that both employers and their employees understand their rights with respect to lay-offs:

In short, both employers and their employees should seek legal advice regarding any lay-offs. In some cases, the lay-off may be justified and it may be the best compromise available to the parties. In many other circumstances, a court will treat it as a termination and the employee will be entitled to termination pay.

The lawyers at Millard & Company can assist you in understanding your rights regarding lay-offs, terminations or any other employment issues that may arise in these challenging times. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

And stay safe out there!

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"It was an absolute pleasure to work with Ben Millard at Millard & Company Barristers and Solicitors. Before signing on to use his services he took the time to answer any and all questions we had so that we felt confident when choosing him to help us with our legal matter. Once we signed on, this did not change. He was always very quick to answer our questions or address our concerns. He was very quick to let us know our next moves and did not sit on anything which was well appreciated. Would recommend to anyone to use his services. Kind, courteous, and genuinely great person to deal with!"

- M. C.

"It was a great pleasure, and a great experience, for our not-for-profit organization to work with Marcus McCann to assist us to rewrite our by-laws. Marcus was professional, knowledgeable and understanding of our issues and committed to helping us to frame our new by-laws in the context of both our organization's vision, mission and values and the law as it relates to not-for-profit organizations. He was diligent, completed the work within the time frame we agreed upon, responded to phone calls and emails promptly, and was always courteous to me and my colleagues. I thoroughly recommend Marcus for any organization who needs legal assistance, particularly in developing by-laws."

- J. M.

"Within a day I was connected to Ben Millard and he walked me through the approach and compensation once he understood my circumstances. He negotiated a good deal and it was settled in less than three weeks (would have been faster except for summer holiday). He was always available for questions during the negotiation and will answer questions on any future contracts vis a vis the severance package. With Ben I know I got the best deal i could."

- T. S.

"This is the second occasion for me reaching out to Ben Millard for his employment related expertise. I greatly appreciate Ben’s clear and concise counsel. His ability to distill the relevant and important issues from all the “noise” makes working with him to be efficient and effective. I would not hesitate to recommend him for any employment law matters."

- T. W.