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BC Employment Standards Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 113


The purposes of the Act are stated as document/id/ complete/ statreg/ 00_96113_01#section2 - following points are quoted from the Act:

(a) to ensure that employees in British Columbia receive at least basic standards of compensation and conditions of employment;

(b) to promote the fair treatment of employees and employers;

(c) to encourage open communication between employers and employees;

(d) to provide fair and efficient procedures for resolving disputes over the application and interpretation of this Act;

(e) to foster the development of a productive and efficient labour force that can contribute fully to the prosperity of British Columbia;

(f) to contribute in assisting employees to meet work and family responsibilities.

See copy of the Act online at document/ id/complete/ statreg/ 00_96113_01#part12 this on-line Act is current to August 12, 2020 (as of Sept. 04, 2020 - when reference made on this site to the site)

"The law in B.C. sets standards for payment, compensation and working conditions in most workplaces. The standards promote open communication, fair treatment and work-life balance for employees." ( quote 2020.09.04 from BC Government Web site at: gov/content/ employment-business/ employment-standards-advice/employment-standards )

This is a screen-shot of the Menu of the B.C. Government web site information, mentioned above, click on the image and it will take you directly to the site:

Screen Shot of BC Government web introduction and explanation of the BC Employment Standards Act guidelines and regulations - click to their website

What does Employment Standards Act say about "Getting Fired for Just Cause"?
Go to content/ employment-business/employment-standards-advice/ employment-standards/termination/quit-fired#getting-fired

Employers must prove "just cause"

If an employer proves an employee was fired for just cause, there is no requirement to pay compensation for length of service.

An employer can fire an employee with just cause if they commit a serious offence. For example, if an employee steals, commits fraud, acts dishonestly, assaults or harasses others, or breaks company rules.

Unsatisfactory performance (e.g. an employee is unable to perform job duties) or minor misconduct (e.g. lateness or not coming to work) are not considered just cause. An employer can fire an employee for these reasons as long as they give notice and/or pay.

An employer may be able to fire an employee for these reasons without notice or pay if they can show they did certain things. For example, the employer must prove that the employee:

  • Was told clearly what the employer's reasonable standards are
  • Was told that they weren't meeting the standards
  • Had reasonable time and help to meet the standards
  • Was warned that they would be fired if they did not improve their behaviour
  • Still didn’t meet the standards after all of the above

Employers must provide clear and consistent standards for all staff. They also need to act in a reasonable amount of time to correct employee behaviour. If they cannot show proof that they did this, they may not be able to prove just cause.

Employers do not need to give written notice or pay if they fire an employee for just cause.

Employees who feel they have been fired without just cause can sue for wrongful dismissal. This is different than making a complaint for compensation for length of service with the Employment Standards Branch. If an employee chooses to go to court, they should seek legal advice.  The Employment Standards Branch cannot provide legal advice. [emphasis added]

(above quoted from Employment Standards Act government web site info. last updated August 31, 2020 at link content/ employment-business/employment-standards-advice/ employment-standards/termination/quit-fired#getting-fired

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This page last updated: September 28, 1999
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