What is a comparable job position?

If you’ve ever been offered a new position in a company you work for that wasn’t a promotion, especially after a leave of absence, you may have heard the term ‘comparable job position’. There are several circumstances where the term will frequently come up, but it may be unclear what that term actually means. 

 

Knowing what a comparable job position is may keep you from accepting a new position that is not comparable to your previous one. 

 

This article will help you navigate accepting a job that is comparable to your old one, and what to do if you have been offered a job that is not comparable.

 

What is a comparable job position?

 

A comparable job position is a position that has a comparable level of responsibility, tasks, pay and prestige within the company. A comparable job position for an employee may look like, for example, transferring to another department where the pay and duties would remain similar. 

 

On the other hand, a new role that features less pay, longer hours, less responsibility, and a demotion in the title may not be a comparable job. For example, if you are moved from your position as a managing supervisor of a department to a position that is entry-level, that would not be a comparable job position. 

 

Why does it matter?

 

If an employee has taken a leave of absence, such as for maternity or parental leave, they must be given the same job they had before leaving or a comparable job position in the company. That means that if they had a managing position prior to going on leave, they must have a similar position when they return.

 

If an employee is not given a comparable job position when they return to work, they may have a case to say that they were constructively dismissed from their position. 

 

Employees who are terminated from their job positions should also know what a comparable position to their old job would be. If a person who has been terminated gets a new job that is comparable to their old one, they may only be entitled to the minimum amount of termination pay, whereas if they did not have another job, they may be able to seek a larger termination and severance package. 

 

Employers also cannot move their employees to a new position if the job they are moving them to is not a comparable position. Employers can offer their employees a promotion to a new job position, but they cannot demote their employees without creating a situation where their employees could claim constructive dismissal. 

 

Keep an eye on what a comparable position to your job would be, if you ever consider taking a leave of absence, or if you are terminated from your job. 

 

Why would be given a non-comparable position be considered constructive dismissal?

 

Constructive dismissal can involve when a fundamental part of an employee’s job has been changed without their consent by their employer. For instance, if an employee has gone from a position as a manager to an entry-level position after their employer demoted them, then that aspect of their job has been fundamentally changed without their approval. They would have a case for constructive dismissal because their job has changed at the core.

 

Similarly, an employee cannot change an employee position while they are working there, such as changing their hours or pay rate. That would also result in a potential case of constructive dismissal. 

 

The same thing goes for an employee who returns from maternity leave to a position that is not comparable to their old one. Even though they were absent for a period of time, they are still to be given a job that is comparable to their previous one and should not be demoted, according to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000.

 

What can I do if I have been given a position that is not comparable?

 

If you have been given a position that is not comparable to your old one, you should first speak to your employer about finding a new position that is a better match for your old one. Consider the pay, hours, prestige, and position within the company hierarchy, and see if there is a better position for you. A demand letter from a lawyer may help you achieve your desired goal.

 

If you have decided that this job is no longer for you, you can speak to an employment lawyer about how to pursue a claim of constructive dismissal. You may be able to get termination pay from your job as you move onto a new position elsewhere that is a better fit. 

 

Conclusion

 

A comparable job position is a job that has a similar rate of pay, number of hours, and hierarchy within a company. After coming back from a leave of absence, employees should be given the same job that they had before leaving or one that is comparable. If an employee is not given a comparable position to their old one upon returning, they may be able to claim that they were constructively dismissed and collect termination pay.

 

If you have been offered a position that is not comparable to your old one in any of the areas above, speak to a lawyer about what your options are to seek a new position or be compensated for your loss.

 

Contact Us

 

If you are an employee with questions about comparable job positions, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist. 

 

If you are a small or medium-sized company looking for full-service support with a same-day response, visit our Chief Legal Officer Program page for our strategic solutions.