What Does It Mean to Be Terminated “Without Cause” in Alberta?
When an employee is terminated without cause, it means they are being let go for a reason other than serious workplace misconduct (which would likely qualify as a “for cause” termination). Reasons behind “without cause” termination can include things such as company restructuring, cost-saving measures or employee performance issues. When an employee is being terminated without cause, the employer is usually not obligated to provide a reason.
This can be confusing and frustrating to the employee, especially if the employee has worked for the employer for a long time. However, as long as the reason for termination is not discriminatory in nature, an employer is within their legal rights to terminate an employee without cause at any time, as long as reasonable notice is provided.
What Kind Of Notice Should Be Provided?
When an employer terminates an employee without cause, they are required to provide reasonable notice of that termination. Reasonable notice can be provided in the form of working notice, pay in lieu of reasonable notice, or sometimes a combination of both. Working notice means that the employee must continue in their current job until a certain date, at which time their employment will terminate. Pay in lieu of notice is severance pay that is paid to the employee after termination.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
Often the most common issue that arises in regard to a without-cause termination, is whether the amount of reasonable notice or severance pay provided to the employee is fair. A lawyer can assist by conducting a severance review in order to determine what your severance entitlements are under the law. If you are entitled to more severance, a lawyer can help you by trying to negotiate a larger amount, or by advising you on your options regarding a potential wrongful dismissal claim against your employer.Contact a Calgary Employment Lawyer