more than 40 years of legal experience
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue | Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7

Termination of Employment without Cause Lawyer

With expert legal help, you can smoothly file a wrongful dismissal claim for termination without cause or proper severance

Understanding Termination Without Cause: What It Means for You

Did you know you can file a wrongful dismissal claim against an employer for termination without cause or a proper severance package? With professional legal advice and representation from our employment lawyers, you can manage the entire process seamlessly and minimize stress.


Similarly, we help employers draft enforceable employment termination provisions that won’t run foul with the Employment Standards Act in British Columbia. Failure to do so could lead to costly (but avoidable) lawsuits or payouts to wrongfully terminated employees.

What’s a Termination without Cause?

In British Columbia, dismissal or termination without cause refers to a situation where an employer fires an employee from their job (terminates an employment relationship) for a reason (or reasons) that aren’t linked to serious misconduct.  


Employers are not legally required to have a fair or good reason to terminate an employment contract with a worker. Thus, companies can let employees go at any time as long as the reason for dismissal isn’t discriminatory – based on race, disability, age, or gender.


However, the terminated employees must be given a common law reasonable notice of the dismissal, a comprehensive severance package or a combination of the two. Employers cannot terminate workers for any discriminatory reason, as this will be a human rights violation.


An example of an employee termination without cause is when a company is restructuring and has to lay off employees whose roles are redundant. Also, an organization may need to dismiss employees due to economic challenges. Organizations may terminate employees without cause due to other reasons such as skill mismatch, being late for work, poor work performance, and more.


An employer can fire you without warning or for any reason in British Columbia. This is possible if you’re a non-unionized employee and you are provided with a reasonable working notice or comprehensive severance package.

Termination without Cause, for Cause, and Constructive Dismissal

Termination for a cause often happens when employees are dismissed due to gross misconduct such as sexual harassment or theft. In such cases, employers aren’t legally required to offer a statutory severance pay but must have credible evidence to prove the misconduct that led to dismissal.


On the other hand, termination without cause happens when an employer dismisses an employee due to any reason unrelated to workplace misconduct. Such reasons include business restructuring that could make some roles redundant, economic challenges, and more.


Constructive dismissal happens when considerable workplace changes by an employer force a worker to resign. Both termination without cause and constructive dismissal require the employer to provide enough severance pay.

Severance Package

If you were dismissed without cause, how much severance or termination pay are you entitled to? In British Columbia, the amount of severance payment you get after being fired without a cause depends on various factors. These include the type of your job, length of your employment, age, bonuses, overtime pay, vacation pay, ability to find new employment, and more.


The minimum amount of severance payment you’re entitled to is a week’s pay and a maximum of eight week’s pay. This amount is determined based on the legal guidelines outlined in the ESA (Employment Standards Act).


If your case is being handled in court and common law is applied, you may be legally entitled to as much as 24 month’s pay. Thus, if you are terminated without a cause or unfair grounds, talk to our skilled employment lawyer. We will help you learn your legal options under the employment law and provide the legal representation you need to protect your employment rights and interests.

Effect of an Employment Contract on Severance Pay

Employment contracts outline the terms for various aspects of your job, such as the termination clause, severance, and more. These contracts might limit the amount of severance payment you are entitled to in case of dismissal without a cause.


For an employment contract to be valid, it must be carefully drafted and worded, particularly the employment clause. Indeed, they must meet all relevant minimum requirements outlined by British Columbia’s ESA. If your company’s employment agreements are not properly structured, they may be unenforceable.


Doran Law can carefully review the terms of your employment contract, particularly ‘with cause’ and ‘without cause’ termination clauses, and offer guidance on how the contract may affect your severance payment if you lose your job. Similarly, we help businesses and other organizations to draft, review, and ensure their employment agreements and other important business documents meet all the minimum requirements under the Employment Standards Act.

Signing a Severance Offer

Perhaps you are wondering whether you should sign a severance offer by your employer’s deadline. Well, an employer may set a deadline as a pressure tactic to push you (the employee) to accept a severance payment before you understand your legal rights fully.


During a termination meeting, an employer may present a severance payment offer and try to pressure you to sign it by setting a deadline. However, the Employment Standards Act protects your rights to a severance offer that shouldn’t expire at the deadline imposed by your employer.


Indeed, you have up to 24 months (two years) from the dismissal date to claim your full termination pay (severance pay). Therefore, an employer should not force you to accept a severance package. Contact our experienced employment lawyer to review your contract’s termination clause and the severance offer and ensure it meets all your entitlements. Signing a severance offer forces you to forfeit your right to revise it and pursue other legal options.


Remember, you don’t need to take your case to British Columbia’s Employment Standards Branch if you have been dismissed without a cause. You could still get all your minimum entitlements under ESA – it could be several weeks’ pay.


Our experienced employment lawyers can help you pursue your full entitlements and potentially get up to two years’ pay. Depending on the terms of your employment agreement, this could be up to thousands of dollars.

Employment Insurance Benefits

If you were laid off without a cause, you are still entitled to employment insurance benefits. However, you cannot receive severance pay and employment insurance benefits payments at the same time. That means you can only apply to get your EI benefits once your working notice or severance period expires.

Wrongful Termination and Your Legal Options

Suppose you were terminated without cause, and no proper severance pay was provided. In that case, the law allows you to pursue a wrongful termination claim against the employer. Contact us to discuss your case with skilled lawyers who can help manage the entire process of pursuing a wrongful termination claim.


Wrongful dismissal claims may be complex. However, they can be negotiated and settled within a few weeks or months. The Law Firm of Doran Law has handled many claims involving wrongful termination and helped thousands of Canadians secure some of the province’s largest severance packages.


With our legal assistance, you can be sure your termination-related dispute will be resolved within the shortest period possible. So, reach out to our team of skilled employment lawyers today and learn how we can support you to protect your rights and interests.

Unfairly Fired? We can help

Our team of experienced employment lawyers at Doran Law is dedicated to helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your case involving termination without cause. With numerous positive online reviews from satisfied clients across British Columbia and a deep understanding of employment law, we can help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.

Reduce Stress

When you choose us to represent you, we strive to minimize your stress of pursuing legal action against an employer especially if you were terminated based on discriminatory reasons. This could mean a violation of human rights legislation. Our lawyers take on the responsibility of communicating with your employer directly so you can focus on moving forward.

Understand and Protect Your Rights

One of our primary goals is to ensure that you fully understand your rights. Whether you are entitled to a wrongful dismissal claim, severance package, or other benefits, we will outline the steps we will take to enforce these rights on your behalf.


Note that all employees, including non-unionized employees, are entitled to a reasonable notice period or pay in lieu of notice. Seek legal advice from us if your employer fails to provide proper notice of employment termination or provide severance pay.

Contact us

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Office Location

Surrey Office
302, 15252 – 32nd Avenue Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0R7
Phone: 604-542-9455
Fax: 604-542-9493

Office Hours

Monday – Friday | 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

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