Getting let go or fired from your job impacts every area of your life, putting your quality of life in financial peril. Your employer has the right to fire you with or without cause, but how they do so matters. You're owed an honest explanation for the "just cause" of your termination or a notice period if there's no reason for your dismissal. Depending on the circumstances of your firing, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim against your former employer seeking damages.
What is "Fair Treatment" For Job Dismissal Without Cause?
Many times, in lieu of several weeks' notice that you will lose your job, employers will provide severance pay. If you were fired without cause and were not given notice or severance pay, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim. The Employment Standards Act established employee rights for termination in 1996 regarding notice period and severance pay. The law stipulates a minimum amount of severance, which is:
- one week of wages for employees who have worked for the business for three months,
- two weeks for those working 12 consecutive months,
- three weeks for three years of employment,
- and an additional week of wages for each year after three years.
The law states that severance pay can be extended for a maximum of eight weeks. However, those are minimum standards, and some employees are due a higher severance when you consider the type of job, length of service, age, and the availability of similar positions in the workforce. For example, those who work in senior management and have worked for one employer for many years may have a difficult time finding another job.
Wrongful dismissal claims are complex by nature, and it's crucial to have an employment lawyer, such as our experienced lawyers at Stephens & Holman, who knows how to pursue your claim for compensation within the time constraints successfully.
What is "Fair Treatment" For Termination with Cause?
Sometimes the reasons an employee is fired are obvious and justified, such as poor job performance, stealing from the company, or they are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job. Other times, the cause for dismissal is uncertain. The 1997 legal case, Wallace v. United Graine Growers Ltd., established that employees have a right to know the reason for which they're getting let go. Employers must be honest and not behave unfairly or act in bad faith.
If the reason for your firing is not entirely apparent to you, you may have a wrongful dismissal claim. Some unscrupulous employers fire workers for "just cause" to avoid the requirements for a notice period or severance compensation. Our lawyers in British Columbia will help you take your case to trial to reach fair compensation for the loss of your job. Damages awarded in wrongful dismissal claims can involve a breach of contract, appropriate severance pay, loss of benefits, and punitive damages.
Whether you were fired with or without cause, you have two years from the date of your employment termination to file a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. It's essential to contact a lawyer right away to receive fair compensation for your job loss.
Contact Stephens & Holman in Vancouver Today
If you were fired from your job without notice, severance, or just cause‚ contact our employment lawyers in Vancouver today at (604) 730-4120 for a complimentary consultation. Stephens & Holman help injured victims in Vancouver and at 25 locations throughout British Columbia.