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Common Questions

I’ve been dismissed (fired) without just cause

Last reviewed February 2023 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:

  • If You are Fired, 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. 

Need more help?

  • If your employer is provincially regulated, call Employment Standards Branch of BC at 1-800-663-3316 (toll-free in BC) or 250-612-4100 (Prince George or outside BC).
  • If your employer is federally regulated, call Employment Standards (Canada) at 1-800-641-4049.
  • Access Pro Bono Summary Advice Program offers free legal advice to low and modest income individuals by telephone or videoconference. Book an appointment with a volunteer lawyer by filling out the online form or calling the client line at 1-877-762-6664 or 604-482-3195.
  • For help with Employment Insurance, call Service Canada at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).
  • The Lawyer Referral Service offers a free, brief initial consultation with a lawyer to determine your legal needs. If you would like further help from your lawyer, you can retain them at an agreeable rate of charge.
  • Find more help near you on Clicklaw HelpMap.

See our related common questions:

getting fired or laid off, wrongful dismissal, employment standards, just cause, written notice or compensation