Monday, July 21, 2008

What Are You People Signing? Continued: When Americans Hire

Accepting a job from an American employer who wants to hire development talent here in Canada? Remember to weed out the Americanisms from your employment contract. We've talked about the differences in termination pay and notice in other posts. Another provision to watch for is the pre-release. This is a term that requires you, if you are terminated, to sign a release before you are entitled to receive your termination pay. The release typically applies to all claims, including ones you ay have as a shareholder. Resist this term. You are entitled in Canada to your pay, release or not.

Here's another emerging trend to watch for: some American employers are adding waivers to their agreements that require employees to sue their employers within 6 months of a particular incident. This means that, should you be harassed by your employer for a period of time, and ultimately quit, you will have waived any right to sue unless you bring action from the first date of harassment.

Is this reasonable risk management by corporations? Perhaps. Is it enforceable in Canada? Likely not. Before signing up to this provision, make sure you assess the impact of this Americanism on your rights here in Canada. Even if it's likely not enforceable, you probably should not agree to it. Why become the test case?

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