Glorified Job Titles

What's in a Title?  More money!

People criticize lawyers for using “legalese” and generally communicating in a way that is hard for most people to understand.  The criticism is justified.  Why can’t lawyers communicate in plain English in a way that is easy to understand?

However, it’s no longer just the lawyers that speak in strange tongues.  In recent years, we have seen a trend in business to create terms and titles that are incomprehensible or awkward.  I have a friend who has a growing list of terms he calls “jargon” – complicated new terms to replace existing simple terms.  We don’t complete “tasks” anymore:  we deliver action items.  You are not “in charge” of a project:  you are the champion of the deliverable. 

You don’t see want ads for a “mechanic” anymore.  It is a “certified automotive technician”.  However, if you ask a “certified automotive technician” what they do for a living, they’ll tell you “I am a mechanic”.

Now we have “Intermediate Customer Account Manager” (sales representative); “Senior Manager of Customer Success” (customer service); “Chief Talent Officer” (HR Manager); and “Manager of First Impressions” (receptionist), to name a few examples.

If someone asks you what you do and you tell them your job title and they ask you to explain what that means, that might be a good sign that your job title has become “jargonated” (I just made up that term.)

These glorified titles are thought to make an employee feel better about their job, because they are being held out to the public as being more important than they might be if they had the simple title.  Do they get paid more?  I doubt it.

There are legal repercussions to these titles.

When an employee is terminated, the amount that they are entitled to receive as their severance package may be partly based on the type of position the employee held.  If your employer wanted you to feel more important by having a more important-sounding title, then they are likely to have to pay you more to get rid of you.

“Managers” typically get more money than non-managers when they sue for wrongful dismissal.  Even though an “executive account manager” may not manage any other employees, the “manager” in their name could get them more money when they are terminated. 

On the other hand, misleading job titles make it more difficult for the lawyers and the judges to correctly characterize the nature of the position held by the employee.  The employer is going to argue that the title does not accurately reflect the nature of the position.  The bottom line is that the case will be more complicated, harder to settle, and more expensive for both sides.

Let’s stick to simple titles and language that are easy for everyone to understand their meaning.  It avoids misunderstandings and may even save you money!

Ian Johncox, Civil Litigation/Employment Lawyer/Mediator

Ian Johncox, Civil Litigation/Employment Lawyer/Mediator

Ian practices in the areas of employment law, occupier liability defence, franchise litigation and contract litigation. Ian is a trained mediator and conducts mediations in a wide range of civil (non-family) cases. His employment law practice includes acting for employers and employees, which gives him a balanced perspective to his clients’ issues.

Contact Us

Send us a message, complete with your contact information. One of our friendly staff will be in touch to discuss how we can help you.


79 Baldwin Street North, Brooklin, ON L1M 1A4
Phone 905-620-4499
Fax 905-620-7738


229 Mary Street, Port Perry, ON L9L 1B7
Phone 905-985-4141
Fax 905-620-7738
Your name is required.
Your phone is required.
Your email address is required.
A message is required.