Ken Reid, the former canine control officer for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, is suing the Town for severance.
“They were served with papers from my lawyers and the town has opted to fight it,” Reid said in an interview Tuesday.
“So, now I’m probably in the process of going to court with it.”
Last fall, Reid was told his contract with the town as canine control officer would not be renewed, about three months before it expired.
The Lincoln County Humane Society has been now handling all animal-related needs in Niagara-on-the-Lake since Jan. 1.
Reid, who was on contract with the town for 22 years, said that since his contract came to an end, he has received vacation pay he was owed.
He said his lawyer told him vacation pay is not owed to contractors, only to contract employees and that contract employees are entitled to severance.
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The town has taken the stance that he was simply a contractor and not a contract employee, meaning the municipality does not owe him any severance after his 22-year tenure, Reid said.
Town spokesperson Marah Minor confirmed Reid has filed a statement of claim.
“As this is an active legal matter, the town is not able to provide any further information at this time,” she said.
Reid said he retained legal counsel on contingency and the firm is only be paid if it wins the case. He said his legal representatives feel they will be successful.
If the town loses the suit it could potentially be paying much more than if Reid was just paid a severance package, he said.
Reid, who is 69 years old, is facing financial difficulties since his only source of income was lost last year.
“Without an income and with the expense of this (home) property it’s going to be a struggle,” he said.
“I was a contract employee, as such the town is obligated to give me a severance package. I’m spending my savings and hoping that can get replaced with a severance.”