HR Home Forums Private Employer obligation when company closes every winter for a salary employee?

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  • Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    We have an employee with 18 years seniority.
    He works April to October outdoor work for one company (management level) and when it closes for the winter he works November to March for another company (labourer) outdoor winter work.
    He is paid salary.
    What would be the obligation of the employer for the winter should the worker decide not to work the winter months?
    Thank you.

    Conner Lantz
    Post count: 4836

    The obligations of an employer regarding a seasonal employee who decides not to work during the winter months can depend on various factors, including the terms of the employment contract, applicable labor laws, and any collective bargaining agreements that may be in place. Here are some considerations:
    1. Employment Contract: The terms of the employment contract between the employer and the employee are crucial. If the contract specifies that the employee is expected to work year-round or provides details about the seasonal nature of the employment, it can guide the obligations of both parties during the winter months.
    2. Salary and Compensation: If the employee is paid a fixed salary, they may be entitled to that salary even during the winter months if it’s specified in their contract or if it’s a common practice in the industry.
    3. Seasonal Employment: Given that the employee has 18 years of seniority and has been working seasonally in this manner, it may be considered a longstanding and accepted practice. In such cases, the employer may have an obligation to offer the employee their seasonal position when the company resumes operations in the spring.
    4. Legal Requirements: Employment laws and regulations can vary by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to consult the specific labor laws that apply in your area. Some jurisdictions have laws that provide protections to seasonal workers, including rules about layoffs and rehiring.
    5. Collective Bargaining Agreements: If the employee is part of a union and covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the agreement may dictate the rights and obligations of both the employer and the employee during the winter months.
    6. Communication: It’s advisable for the employer to maintain open communication with the employee regarding their intentions for the winter months and to address any concerns or expectations in advance.
    7. Termination and Rehire: If the employee decides not to work during the winter months, and there are no contractual or legal obligations to keep them on salary or to guarantee their position, the employer may treat this as a voluntary temporary layoff or separation. In such cases, the employer may have the right to rehire the employee when the seasonal work resumes in the spring, subject to any applicable rules and regulations.

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