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I was recently laid off. I spoke to a lawyer and was told my employer never negotiates severance and always takes things to court regardless. If I did decide to go to court it would take 12-18 months and before then I'd only receive my base severance. This would mean I'd be without any salary for 6-12 months. In top of all this, if I received a job in less time than than my base severance, I wouldn't get anything else and it would all be a moot point. It's this true? It makes it very hard to justify not just accepting their offer.

It depends on the company, some companies are prepared to settle before court proceedings are initiated, however other companies may only settle at Court. Until a settlement is reached, yes you would only be entitled to your minimum severance pay under the Employment Standards Act. As per the duty to mitigate, your damages will be capped if you secure a comparable new job.
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