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Employee contemplating job termination rights.

Entitlements After Job Termination: What You Should Know?

September 22, 2023

Entitlements After Job Termination: Know Your Rights

Many employees don’t know their rights (Termination Entitlements) when their job ends. This period can be scary and stressful. Do you qualify for severance and benefits after a firing? If yes, what amount should you get? Your employment situation, including your job type and the reason for termination, determines the answers to these questions. Let’s explore the factors that can influence your severance and benefits after a firing.

Are you covered by BC’s Employment Standard Act?

The Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) is the law in BC that protects workers’ rights(Termination Entitlements). It sets the standard for how employers must treat employees, including minimum requirements for notice of termination and termination pay based on length of service. These rules will apply to you if you are an “employee” as defined by the Employment Standards Act. In BC, most workers have coverage, but some don’t. For instance, independent contractors, federally regulated employees, and unionized employees don’t receive coverage.

What does your employment contract say?

Your job contract outlines your post-termination benefits. Some employment contracts give the employee rights and entitlements that are greater than the minimums in the Employment Standards Act. Other employment contracts try to reduce or eliminate entitlement to benefits owing on termination. If the ESA applies to you, your contractual rights cannot be less than the ESA minimums (in other words, your employer can’t require you to agree to accept less than the ESA minimums). When your employment contract limits you to ESA entitlements, consulting an employment lawyer remains advisable. Only a correctly phrased termination clause binds you.

Were you wrongfully terminated?

Employers wrongfully terminate an employee if they don’t give advance notice, payment instead of notice, or a mix of both(Termination Entitlements). If the ESA covers you, you must receive the minimum notice. For example:

  • If you’ve worked with your employer for at least 12 months, they owe you a minimum of two weeks’ notice or severance pay.
  • After working three consecutive years with the same employer, they owe you a minimum of three weeks’ notice or equivalent pay.
  • For every full year beyond three years, they owe you an additional week of notice or pay.

Eight weeks’ notice is the maximum entitlement under the ESA. You might have a right to “common law” severance pay beyond the ESA’s legal minimums. Your employment contract determines your entitlement, factoring in your service length, age, salary, and job type. Before accepting a severance package, consult a skilled employment lawyer, as employers often provide less than what a terminated employee deserves.

Were you fired for just cause?

If your employer fires you for “just cause,” you lose your entitlement to benefits after termination. Just cause is something an employee does or fails to do that is incompatible with the employment relationship. It must be seriously wrong (e.g.,misconduct like theft, dishonesty, disobeying your boss, or intentionally breaching workplace rules/policy). If your employer improperly alleges that it had just cause to fire you and refuses to give you payment in lieu of notice of termination, that is a wrongful dismissal. If you believe your employer didn’t have grounds to fire you for cause, consult a lawyer immediately.

Were you fired for poor performance?

If fired for poor performance, you might still qualify for notice or pay in lieu.

If you have questions about your entitlement to notice, severance and benefits after being fired, reach out to our employment lawyers today. We provide severance package reviews, wrongful dismissal case evaluations, and practical advice on your legal rights and options.

About Simpson Thomas and Associates:

STA is a prominent law firm, with a rich history of over 50 years. It is based in the lower mainland with offices in Vancouver and Surrey.

The firm is active in various practice areas. Namely, personal injuryfamily lawimmigrationemployment lawestate litigation, and insurance denials.

STA commits to serving the community with its legal expertise. Also, actively support causes that enhance the well-being of individuals and families.

Reach out and consult with us:

Stephen Yung, Lawyer

Simpson, Thomas & Associates

(604) 689 – 8888

[email protected]

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