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Common Questions

I’ve been dismissed (fired) without just cause

Last reviewed December 2020 by Clicklaw Editors

If you have been fired, or dismissed from your job, you may be wondering: Can your employer fire you? Were you entitled to notice that you were going to be dismissed? Can you get severance pay?

Employers have the right to fire employees for just cause, meaning there was a good reason to fire you. But if you were fired without just cause, you have the right to advance notice, or severance pay if you don't get notice. If the employer doesn't give you notice or pay, it's called a wrongful dismissal.

Good starting points include:

  • Legal Help Guide for British Columbians - Employment Law Problems, from Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre and Courthouse Libraries BC, has a section on being dismissed (fired) without just cause and provides first steps and resources for dealing with it.
  • If You're Fired: Wrongful Dismissal, from People's Law School, is a factsheet that describes your options if you think you have been wrongfully dismissed or fired. It explains what is "just cause."
  • Quitting, Getting Fired or Laid Off, from the provincial government, describes the rules that must be followed for layoffs. It explains how a dismissed employee's notice or compensation is calculated.
  • Making a Complaint, from the provincial government, outlines the process for filing a complaint about an employer with the BC Employment Standards Branch.
  • Small Claims Solution Explorer, from Civil Resolution Tribunal, is a tool for helping people manage and resolve disputes in BC. Select “Employment” and explore your options through information and self-help tools.
  • LSLAP Manual: Employment Law, from the UBC Law Students Legal Advice Program, has a section on termination of employment.
  • Coronavirus: Your Legal Questions Answered, from People's Law School, has a section called Coronavirus & Benefits for Workers. It outlines the various benefits available to people who have had employment hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Need more help?

See our related common questions:

getting fired or laid off, wrongful dismissal, employment standards, just cause, written notice or compensation, coronavirus, COVID-19, covid19