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Optimum Talks Blog

The Legalities of Imposed Wage Reductions, Layoffs, + Labour Cost Reductions

by Janine Robin

As we continue through this pandemic, organizations have more than just the virus itself to be concerned about. The economic turmoil has made this a very challenging time for employers and employees, and while everyone is trying to do their best, employment law issues must remain top of mind in order to avoid potential liabilities.

Recently, both employers and employees have made decisions without considering and understanding the legal implications of them. For example, many individuals do not understand the extent of their rights. As mass layoffs occurred many employers overestimated their legal rights and assumed, they could dismiss employees. However, in many cases they were wrong, thus exposing themselves to liability. On the other hand, many employers also underestimated their rights. This is seen in cases with organizations that have employees who refuse to return to work, when in fact as an employer, you have the right to insist that employees return to work.

As the current global situation continues to change, the return to work has become top of mind – a radical shift from a few weeks ago. Fortunately, there is more time for organizations to put a plan in place for this phase of the pandemic and focus on making informed decisions as their employees return to work. As your organization begins the return to work process, our friends at Rudner Law have prepared some of their own and external resources for you to utilize:

As you begin to plan your return to work, please keep in mind that things are changing rapidly. Information from a few weeks ago may now be deemed irrelevant, so you must be cautious when relying upon such information and the respective sources. Also, always inquire about proper legal advice! It will cost less to inquire before you make a decision than if you do not. We know that this is a stressful time, please take care of yourselves and reach out to those around you.

For more insights and legal advice, visit Rudner Law.


This blog is based on the webinar that was hosted on May 22, 2020, and the recording can be found here.
Disclaimer: This information is current as of May 21, 2020, and is provided for
informational purposes only.


Download the PDF version of the blog here.

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