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To Sue or Not to Sue?


To Sue or Not to Sue?You’ve been dismissed and have issues with your former employer over severance pay or have a discrimination complaint, do you seek legal counsel? According to a recent study by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), more Canadians do.

Seven in ten HR managers believed that employees are more likely to bring legal action against former employers than they were five years ago, and four out of five think the situation will worsen in the next five years. Most HR managers felt that the courts were more disposed to support the employee, a perception that prompts many companies to settle disputes out of court.

So what are they disputing? 

Wrongful dismissal68%
Termination and severance pay58%
Human rights/discrimination54%
Severance arrangements23%



As per the above table, three of the top five responses were based on issues relating to the economy and job market. It is therefore not surprising that there is increased litigation in the wake of layoffs and the prospect of a challenging market for job seekers. Based on this logic, we cannot forecast if there will be increased litigation in five years time as we don’t have a crystal ball to see the future state of the economy. Another possible theory, however, is changing societal norms where people are more apt to pursue legal means as a result of the media and headlines. With increased exposure to the legal system, individuals are more familiar with the process and are confident in their potential outcome when pursuing litigation.

Either way, the lawyers are happy — HR professionals cite increased legal costs to defend their firms from litigation suits.

You can also read this article covered in the Toronto Sun

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