Employment Law | Wrongful Dismissal

Our professional Eric Pedersen is well-versed in employment law. In this video, Eric covered the topic of wrongful dismissal and what to do if you think you have been wrongfully dismissed at your place of work.



Hi my name, is Eric Pedersen and I'm a lawyer practicing employment law at Velletta & Company. Today I'm going to talk to you about one topic in employment law which is wrongful dismissal. There are a lot of misconceptions about what a wrongful dismissal is and the way to think about it is a wrongful dismissal is a firing or a termination where the employer fails to get the proper amount of notice. Or severance.

The reality is that employer is permitted in British Columbia to fire anybody at any time. For almost any reason as long as they give them the proper amount of severance pay or notice. There is one major footnote to that which is B.C Human Rights Code. There are 13 protected grounds in the human rights code that you can't base a dismissal on. Those are things like age, gender, gender expression, race, religion and country of origin and so on.

But back to the reasons for dismissal: it doesn’t actually matter. It doesn't really factor into any court's decision (unless the employer is alleging that they have cause to fire you), why the employer might have terminated you. They are allowed to terminate you for the dumbest reasons at all! It may be that you remind them of their fourth-grade school teacher or you just rub them the wrong way or you're not a good fit. What matters is that you're given the proper amount of severance pay. Severance pay or pay in lieu of notice. We're going to be talking in a bit in another video as to what the proper amount of severance that an employee can expect termination is. All terminations are a difficult process. And it's often important to know your rights before signing off on the release or if your employer before terminating an employee for any reason. Always get legal advice.

About the Author

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Written by W. Eric Pedersen

W. Eric Pedersen is a Managing Partner at Velletta Pedersen Christie. Mr. Pedersen regularly advises individuals and businesses on employment, human rights, labour, and debtor creditor law. Eric studied law at the University of Victoria, where he was awarded the Gowlings Prize in Intellectual Property and Technology Law. Mr. Pedersen has appeared in Supreme Court, Provincial Court, and the BC Court of Appeal, and has established himself as an effective advocate for individuals and businesses seeking to resolve disputes and achieve justice.