CanadaOne Twitter CanadaOne Linkedin CanadaOne Facebook CanadaONe RSS

Ask an Expert

A Question Regarding Employees' Rights

Expert: Human Resources Development Canada

Theda asked:

What are the various circumstances that allow employers to clawback on employees" or ex-employees" pay or severance pay? For advances, loans, share purchases, possession of company assets (e.g. cars, laptops, cell phones, etc.), are employers allowed to obtain written acknowledgement or documents from employees that are enforceable in the sense of clawbacks or other collection activities?

Human Resources Development Canada answered:

This is a very complex question that cannot be fully answered because it involves many variables.

First, the answer depends on whether you're in a provincial or federal workplace (federal being bank employees, truck drivers, Canadian government workers, etc.). If you're in a federal workplace, you follow the guidelines of the Canada Labour Code (CLC). If you're in a provincial workplace, you follow the Employee Standards Act (ESA) of each province. Both the CLC and the ESA have different guidelines pertaining to severance pay and clawback issues.

It also depends on what the terms of the contract are. If there were agreements signed at the start of employment that might have effects on clawbacks or severance pay, your best option is to get in touch with a labour lawyer.

If you are in a federal workplace, you can contact someone at the Law Society of Upper Canada. They offer a free half-hour referral service. You can reach them at (416) 947-3300.

If you're in a provincial workplace, start with the Ministry of Labour at (416) 326-7160. They can offer you advice based on your province, and can recommend a lawyer if one is needed.

About the author

Click here to go back to Ask-an-Expert index page.