Leaving Your Job: Your Legal Rights in BC

  • Recorded on: June 20, 2023

  • Length: 60 minutes


Lawyers Richard Johnson and Aliya Virani answer common questions about leaving your job. Are you better off quitting or being let go? How much notice do you need to give your employer? What can you do to prepare for a difficult conversation? Learn your rights and practical steps you can take if you’re thinking about leaving a job. 


In this webinar, you will learn:

Your rights on quitting your job

  • Whether you need to give notice to your employer if you quit your job, and if so, how much. [4:25]

  • Whether you’re entitled to severance or other payments from your employer if you quit your job. [9:15]

  • When you quit, whether an employer can ask you to leave instead of working out your notice period, and whether you would be entitled to be paid for that period. [12:45]

  • Whether you’re eligible for employment insurance if you quit your job. [17:15]

When quitting feels like the only option 

  • Whether it’s better to resign if you think you’re going to be fired. [21:10]

  • How to know if you have been constructively dismissed by your employer, and if so, what happens if you quit. [24:20]

  • What to do if you want to quit your job because your workplace has become toxic and your mental health is suffering. [32:10]

  • Whether you can quit your job and still be entitled to severance pay if your employer was supposed to accommodate your disability but didn’t. [35:40]

  • Whether you can negotiate resignation instead of being laid off as part of your severance package. [39:10]

Taking action

  • The first thing you should do if you’re thinking about quitting your job. [40:40]

  • The best way to talk to your employer about quitting your job, and whether you need to do it in writing. [44:20]

  • Who can help if you’re struggling to make a decision about whether to quit your job. [46:30]

Live questions

  • Whether you’re entitled to severance pay if your employer, on letting you go, insists that you sign a release. [50:15]

  • Whether it’s legal for an employer, on letting you go, to ask you to sign a document saying that you will not seek legal advice. [53:20]

  • Whether a future employer can find out whether you quit a job or got fired. [55:10]


Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a lawyer at Ascent Employment Law practicing in employment and human rights law. Richard’s years of experience make him a skilled advocate capable of handling even the most high-conflict cases. As a recognized authority on employment law issues, he is often called upon by the media to comment on topical workplace issues. Richard is also the general editor for the publication Workers’ Compensation in British Columbia, and has authored legal columns for several other publications.

Aliya Virani

Aliya Virani

Aliya is a workplace lawyer with Ascent Employment Law. Alyia has guided employers and employees through all types of issues and cases, including contractual, statutory and common law rights, human rights issues, employment standards issues, restrictive covenants and non-disclosure agreements, and severance negotiations. Aliya enjoys finding practical, effective, and lasting solutions for both workplaces and individuals. She understands that workplace issues require a tactful and sensitive approach which is tailored to each situation.

Attendee feedback

"It was a great workshop, very informative."

“The subject matter is relevant to all working people.”

“This was a great way to get confirmation of steps I need to take in leaving a job. I'm grateful for the knowledge and willingness of the panel to share best practices.”

“Thank you, great program. The more you know.”

Additional resources

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This website explains in a general way the law that applies in British Columbia, Canada. The information is not intended as legal advice. The cases we refer to reflect real experiences, but names have been changed. See our full disclaimer.

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