Employees in Alberta generally have few rights when it comes to the law but no employer can legally fire you on the spot without following the regulations.
Failure to comply with provincial and federal employment laws can lead to a wrongful dismissal claim.
The regulations include the need to provide reasonable notice of termination without legal cause or severance pay in lieu of notice.
If you have been dismissed unfairly or without due process from your job in Red Deer, the experienced employment lawyers at Taylor Janis can help you claim your rights and seek compensation for your losses.
You can start with a free case evaluation today.
WHAT ARE THE WRONGFUL DISMISSAL LAWS IN ALBERTA?
The responsibilities of employers and the rights of employees in Alberta are clearly detailed by the provincial government.
Following are some of the key rules that employers and employees must abide by:
- Employees and employers must give each other notice of their intention to end the employment
- an employer may end the employment of an employee by giving them:
- termination notice,
- termination pay, or
- a combination of termination notice and termination pay
These rules apply to any employee who is dismissed without cause after 90 days or more of continuous employment with an employer. Notable exceptions include seasonal or temporary workers and employees with a written contract specifying a particular period of employment.
If, however, your employer can prove “just cause” you can be legally fired on the spot with no written notice or severance pay.
Unfortunately, some employers in Red Deer get this wrong and use “just cause” as an excuse to dismiss someone and save money by not paying severance. This is wrongful dismissal and should be challenged.
You, as the employee, have the right to be compensated for your wages and other employment benefits during the notice period.
CAN YOUR EMPLOYER DISMISS YOU FOR NO REASON IN ALBERTA?
Any employer or employee in Alberta has the legal right to terminate the employment arrangement for any reason.
It could be for financial reasons, downsizing, making a position redundant, or even simply that they don’t like the employee.
The key point is how this is done.
Most employees in Red Deer are entitled to reasonable notice of their termination or payment instead of notice, as explained.
Note that federal employment laws (and the Human Rights Code) strictly prohibit an employer from dismissing someone based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference or other means of discrimination.
If this has happened to you, speak to one of our employment lawyers as soon as possible.
HOW MUCH TERMINATION NOTICE MUST BE PROVIDED IN ALBERTA?
The minimum length of notice (or severance pay) that an employer needs to provide in Alberta depends on the length of service.
For service less than 90 continuous days with an employer, no notice is required.
Beyond that, the notice period increases on a sliding scale:
- Between 90 days and two years of service = 1 week’s notice or severance pay
- 2 years to 4 years of service = 2 weeks’ notice or severance pay
- 4 to 6 years of service = 4 weeks’ notice or severance pay
- 6 to 8 years of service = =5 weeks’ notice or severance pay
- 8 to 10 years of service = 6 weeks’ notice or severance pay
- 10 years or more = 8 weeks’ notice or severance pay
According to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code, your employer must pay all of your earnings within 10 days of the end of the pay period in which termination occurred or 31 consecutive days after the last day of employment. Note that your employer cannot legally reduce your earnings during the notice period.
SHOULD YOU ACCEPT THE MINIMUM NOTICE?
In addition to the dictates of Alberta employment law, common law provides another means for employees to hold their employers accountable for wrongful dismissal.
In these cases, other factors may be considered apart from the length of service, such as:
- Age of the employee
- The type of role
- Future employability
- The health of the employee
This can greatly increase the level of compensation for some dismissed employees in Alberta.
So, even if the proposed termination agreement meets the minimum requirements, it is inadvisable to accept any agreement without first discussing the terms with an employment lawyer.
WHAT IS CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISALL IN RED DEER AND IS IT LEGAL?
Constructive dismissal is essentially another form of wrongful termination.
Instead of providing a lack of a reasonable notice period or severance pay, an employer makes the terms or conditions of employment untenable so that the employee is forced to resign.
Constructive dismissal usually involves the employer making unilateral changes to the terms of employment without the prior agreement of an employee.
Some typical examples include:
- Reducing pay
- Demoting an employee
- Removing key responsibilities or status
- Permanent and significant changes to the schedule
You can take action against constructive dismissal so speak to one of our employment lawyers if this has happened to you in Red Deer.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY FEDERAL WRONGFUL TERMINATION LAWS IN RED DEER?
The above information focuses mainly on provincial employment law in Alberta.
Other employees in Canada fall under federal jurisdiction, such as people working in banking, marine shipping, ferry and port services, air transportation, aerodromes, and airlines.
Instead of “wrongful dismissal” the term used under federal law is “unjust dismissal”. This is prohibited according to the Canada Labour Code.
The laws in the code apply to all employees, except managers, who have completed at least 12 consecutive months of continuous employment with an employer. Union employees covered by a collective agreement are excluded from protection under this law.
If you are dismissed as a federal employee, you can request a written explanation of the reasons from your employer. This must be provided within 15 days.
While our lawyers do not generally intervene in federally regulated cases, you may file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour about an unjust dismissal. There is a chance that, after adjudication, you may be reinstated to your position or receive compensation for lost wages.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ARE WRONGFULLY TERMINATED?
If you’ve been wrongfully dismissed in Red Deer, the first step is usually to outline the details of your case with an experienced employment lawyer.
The decision can then be made whether to claim for wrongful dismissal and seek compensation for wages, vacation pay, and other employment benefits that you would have received during your notice period.
A Taylor Janis employment lawyer can advise you of your options during a confidential 30-minute telephone or video consultation.