Employers have the right to terminate employees with or without cause in British Columbia. However, ending a worker’s employment must be done fairly and lawfully. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some employees may face wrongful dismissal, which can leave them without work, pay, or other job prospects. If you feel you have been terminated from your job without just cause or a valid reason from your employer, you have the right to legally challenge the dismissal. However, wrongful dismissal claims can only be brought forth within a certain timeframe.
What Is Wrongful Dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal means an employee has been fired without “just cause.” Employment wasn’t terminated for a serious violation or misconduct, which is considered a valid reason for dismissal. Many wrongful terminations are due to constructive dismissals or human rights dismissals.
An employer changes the terms of an employee’s original contract without their consent or makes work conditions so difficult that the employee chooses to quit.
Human Rights Dismissal:
An employer fires an employee or forces them to quit based on discriminatory factors.
Wrongful Dismissal Statute of Limitations
According to both the Limitation Act and the Employment Standards Act in British Columbia, employees have two years from the date of their termination notice to file a wrongful dismissal claim against their former employer. After the two-year deadline, former employees can no longer take action against the employer related to the incident.
Collecting Evidence for Wrongful Dismissal
Two years gives terminated employees a lot of time to gather evidence and develop a clear, detailed claim. The more details you can provide about your employment and wrongful dismissal, the better your chances are for a successful case. Take advantage of the time you have to build a strong case with your legal team.
Start by finding your original employment contract as well as any additional contracts created during your tenure. From there, gather letters, memos, emails, and audio or video recordings that show or describe the reasons behind your firing. If you were presented with any other paperwork concerning your termination, be sure to add it to your case documents. Collecting witness statements from colleagues and supervisors who can add context to the situation and vouch for your case will also be helpful.
Review Your Options with Stephens & Holman
If you believe you have been wrongfully dismissed from your job, you probably feel confused, upset, or helpless about your situation. However, there are options available to you. Our legal team is here to help look over your claim and see if you have a valid case. Reach out today to get started.