Ask the Expertis-the-worker-entitled-to-compensation
Jason Lamb asked 4 weeks ago

A worker quits there position and then is brought back for 2 weeks and then they are terminated is the employee owed compensation

1 Answers
Rick Tobin Staff answered 4 weeks ago

Hi Jason,
There is legislation in a few jurisdictions about continuity of employment, like in Ontario, when a business is sold or there is a transition in a building services provider that could impact our answer if you are in this industry or jurisdiction.

You typically don’t get a severance package if you quit or resign from your job voluntarily. Your employer does not have to pay you severance in this case, unless you are forced to leave because of unwanted changes to your job.

It sounds as if the worker in this question quit and therefore foregoes any severance. But…

  • Was that person rehired to a new position, or the same position?
  • Was there a gap between the terms of employment, if so, how long?
  • What was the reason for the termination?
  • Was it just cause?
  • Were they rehired under a new contract or brought back into their previous contract?

The answer to these questions could impact your potential risk and the employees claim to severance.
At face value. If an employee quits, they forego severance. If an ex employee is rehired at a later date, they do not bring previous seniority with them and their official start date is the new start date under the new contract, and would be entitled to severance as per the minimums in your jurisdiction (which are minimums by the way) associated with their new years of service. The minimum for 2 weeks employment is no severance. What’s more, just cause terminations do not require severance either.
Your question, however, needs a little more meat to give you clearer guidance.
In addition, there are some things we should absolutely caution you and anyone else looking at this question:

  1. Severance is legally required when terminations are without cause, and minimums are mandated by law in each jurisdiction, but courts factor in age, location, ability to find similar type of work and pay, as well as other variables when determining severance – very rarely is the minimum enough if a case goes to trial.
  2. Severance can hurt as an employer, and usually ego plays a big role in determining the amount of severance to pay for most executives; but the time, resources and costs associated with a drawn out filing or mediation are often much larger than a generous severance (we are not advocating that it is better or cheaper to pay more to make a problem go away, but these additional costs and the likeliness of them happening should be considered).
  3. Severance and terminations should always be a last resort, having a good progressive discipline process and policy is always the better solution.

You can definitely get a lot more of these model policies, processes and guidance on severance, terminations, and progressive discipline on HR Insider. What’s more, there is elearning training available on SafetyNow about having these difficult conversations and implementing these procedures for managers and supervisors, that all HR Insider members get at 30% off list price through our preferred partnership.