Everything You Need to Know About Wrongful Dismissal

Employment Law | August 25, 2022

Wrongful dismissal can be distressing on both a financial and emotional level. If you feel as though you were wrongfully terminated from your previous job, it is crucial to understand what wrongful dismissal is and how to identify it. That is why the employment lawyers at Linley Welwood have compiled some information outlining everything you need to know about wrongful dismissal and termination with cause to help you determine if your termination was handled properly.

Learn when severance pay is required and when it is not.

What is Wrongful Dismissal?

In most situations, wrongful dismissal refers to situations where an employer dismisses an employee without giving sufficient notice or pay in lieu of notice. The required amount of notice will be set out in the employment contract according to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) or by directly stating the amount of notice required. If the latter method is chosen for an employment contract, the amount of notice or pay cannot be less than the amount outlined by the ESA.

Termination With Cause

It is crucial to note that reasonable notice is not required in situations where an employee has been terminated with cause. Also known as “just cause”, cause can be defined as employee misconduct that is harmful to the employment relationship and workplace. Examples of this misconduct can include severe negligence, insubordination, and violent behaviour toward coworkers. Just cause means that the employer is justified in terminating the employment immediately without any warning, notice, or pay, though it is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the employer when terminating an employee this way.

How to Identify Wrongful Dismissal

In BC, employers can dismiss an employee for almost any reason. When dismissing an employee, employers must abide by the terms of the employment contract they have with their employees or the Employment Standards Act.

If an employer dismisses an employee without cause, the employee is entitled to a notice period for this dismissal or payment in lieu of notice. The amount of notice or pay is calculated based on several factors including the duration of employment, the age of the employee, and the type/level of position held by the employee. For example, an employee may be entitled to 3 weeks of notice before their termination or they can be terminated immediately and paid an amount equal to 3 weeks of their usual pay.

If an employee is dismissed without cause but did not receive any notice or pay in lieu of notice, they were wrongfully dismissed. In cases like this, employees should seek legal counsel to determine the right course of action to receive the pay they are owed.

To learn more about wrongful dismissal, severance pay, or other areas of employment law, get in touch with the team at Linley Welwood. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services or the details of your situation.

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