Labour & Employment Law Blog

Am I entitled to a bonus even after I was dismissed from my job?

Am I entitled to a bonus even after I was dismissed from my job?

Imagine that you arrive at work on Monday morning, and you are called into a meeting in a windowless boardroom with your direct superior who, to your great surprise, is accompanied by an HR representative. Only the HR representative makes direct eye contact and after many years of loyal service an ominous brown envelope is slid your way. In it, you find two copies of a letter with the large words “Private & Confidential” imprinted on top. The letter contains your severance package which, you are assured, contains fair compensation – at least it seems that way. You are encouraged to accept it but not before you execute the enclosed “full and final release.” You notice that your severance package is accurately reflective of your annual salary to date. Still, you sigh and wonder if only you were dismissed one week later – that way, you would have been eligible to receive that $100,000 bonus you were surely going to get this year.

Does the above scenario sound familiar? Do not despair, you may yet be entitled to receive that bonus and then some.

In fact, not only are you likely eligible to receive the earned bonus, but you may also be entitled to seek compensation equaling to the value of the bonus prorated over the course of what should have been your notice of dismissal in addition to your base salary and all other benefits. This is the case even if your employment agreement with the company states that to be eligible to receive your bonus you must be “actively employed.”

This is surprising to many people, but Ontario courts are very protective of employees and the type of compensation that they are lawfully entitled to receive following their dismissal. Many employees find themselves financially and emotionally vulnerable when losing their job and courts typically try to maximize their entitlements in such instances.

In our practice we review severance packages and termination packages on a regular basis and many of the people who end up retaining our services are always pleasantly surprised to find out about their rights to getting a bonus after their departure. So, if you are faced with the above predicament, you should consider obtaining legal advice – it may make a big difference in the long run.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.