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THE QUESTION

My manager has been asking me to in a way to retire. I am over 65. I have worked for 25 years. What would be my right to ask or take as a severance?

THE ANSWER

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A forced retirement is really an illegal termination. Therefore, it is questionable whether your employer should even be asking whether you intend to retire because that often can mean they intend for you to retire. But clearly, your employer cannot infer you need to retire, ask you to retire or even tell you (in any way) that you have to retire and if this is what is occurring, you will be entitled to severance and damages for age discrimination.

If you are interested and open to the idea of retiring, you could tell the company that you would consider an offer of severance if they made one but be careful. Some employers will misconstrue that information as an indication you are going to leave anyway, in which case they may become less inclined to make you an offer. Therefore, if you raise the subject, be clear that it is at their initiative and not yours. A severance package in these circumstances should be similar to a fair severance package in any other circumstance.

Daniel Lublin is a partner at Whitten & Lublin, Employment Lawyers, representing both employers and employees in workplace legal disputes. E-mail: Dan@canadaemploymentlawyer.com.

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