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THE QUESTION

My job is being eliminated. I have worked at the company for 40 years, 38 of them in management. I am 59 years old. My employment is in the agriculture field and the closest job of this kind is at a new facility three hours away.

How many weeks of severance pay should I expect to receive?

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THE ANSWER

Without a contract that predefines your severance, the law requires an assessment that takes into account your age, tenure, position and the unavailability of other work to determine a fair payment.

Precedents, or cases where employees went to court with similar circumstances, are also relevant. In your case, you can expect that a court would award you severance at or near the maximum, often considered two years, although there is no defined maximum. Some judges have even awarded long-term and older employees 26 months pay.

The majority of this severance, however, is subject to your continued unemployment during that period, meaning that if you find another job, depending on the agreement you make with your employer, the pay could be cut off.

Daniel A. Lublin is a partner at Whitten & Lublin, representing both employers and employees in workplace legal disputes.

E-mail: Dan@canadaemploymentlawyer.com

Have a question about careers, labour law or management? Send it to our panel of experts: careerquestion@globeandmail.com Your name and address will be kept confidential.

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About the Author
Globe Careers employment law expert

Daniel is a nationally recognized workplace law expert and a partner at Whitten & Lublin (www.toronto-employmentlawyer.com), where he represents both individual and corporate clients. Daniel frequently writes and appears in the media as a commentator for workplace legal issues. Since 2008, he has been named as one of Canada's top employment lawyers. More

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