I was recently terminated without cause. I had been working in a liquor store for about 6 months. There was something "special" about the work environment. Several businesses in the area were owned by the same parent company. The store I worked in had a back door that connected to a brewery and restaurant etc. Sometimes management from the other parts would come in to "help out" or tell us what to do. For example the bar manager complained we were keeping the lights too bright and it was affecting his customers (the door was glass so you could see through it).

I wasn't given a reason or notice for termination but I can guess why. Yesterday I was in a room alone and dropped the f word a few times. I was mad because a car just ran over my phone. Someone came in and told me not to swear. I apologized and said I didn't realize other people could hear. I latter found out he was a cook from the kitchen. My coworker told me I go home or go get my phone repaired. I left for a few hours. I know it's strange but it's common for people in this job to leave for long periods of time and come back to work later. After I returned my manager came in. She complained it was her day off and she lives far away. She asked for "my side of the story". So basically I was fired for swearing.

What I would like is a) to get the job back b) get money

I'm wondering if there could be discrimination? Other coworkers swear, even in front of customers. Others leave up to 2 hours early or take ridiculously long breaks.

I found it very hostile that a cook would complain to management about me swearing, even after I apologized and explained I didn't realize people could hear.

In general I felt the management did not provide a safe work environment

  1. On multiple occasions my manager told me she thinks a coworker of mine is doing a terrible job. She knows this but forces me to work with them. The store only has 2 people working at a time and some tasks require 2 people.

  2. Another coworker was very difficult to work with. I think he may have had a mental illness. I wasn't made aware of the details but he complained to the parent company about me and refused to work with me. Initially the manager had wanted to reduce my work hours so we wouldn't have to work together though this never happened. On one occurrence I was outside of work and he came running after me yelling about how I didn't do my job. He wanted to quit but management asked him to stay to give them time to find a replacement. He stayed for another day but got mad and walked out halfway through a shift.

  3. management had repeatedly asserted that people shouldn't be working alone, yet people often times were scheduled to work alone

  4. Work Safe came in on several occasions and made orders. Not all of the orders were fully enforced. For example we were supposed to have a Joint Health and Safety Comity. This was supposed to happen but just never did. Also the first aid kit went missing.

  5. When I needed to take time off work for a medical appointment they tried to tell me I wasn't allowed.

  6. management repeatedly said they would make things better, for example having a ban list for customers who were caught stealing.

  7. Though I was hired as clerk, I was told to stand outside and do crowed control (security guard work)

  8. On at least one occasion a restaurant worker tried to trick me into selling him alcohol even though he was underage. He used his position of how we are sort of coworkers to influence me. I didn't sell it to him in the end.

  9. We stopped accepting cash payments when COVID started. Management kept saying that we were going to accept cash payments again. In fact, one manager was working with us on the floor for a while. She saw how crazy and angry some customers got by not accepting cash. She said she realize this was abusive to staff and will have the tills with change back so we can start accepting cash again. So basically management new that we were working in an abusive environment.

  10. most of the price tags were wrong. Customers got mad about this but management did not give us the tools to fix it.

  11. one till can't print receipts and hasn't been fixed for over a month

  12. There were aggressive customers but management refused to view video surveillance to ban them

  13. Refunds couldn't be made to debit cards. Given that the displayed prices were sometimes off, this was a big problem.

  14. Had to climb up an unsteady latter to do get to storage. Work Safe ordered the company to have an engineer inspect it but to my knowledge this never happened.

  15. Coworkers did very unethical things. One example is a coworker sold things that we were supposed to give away for free with purchase with a specific product and pocketed the cash. Can management turn a blind eye to things like that and fire me for swearing?

Are any of these points worth hiring a lawyer for?

  • 1
    Talk to an employment lawyer Aug 31, 2021 at 0:21
  • Welcome to the site. We can't tell you whether you have a claim under your particular circumstances, as we cannot provide specific legal advice; you need to consult an actual lawyer to get that. If you have a generic question about Canadian law on illegal termination, you can ask it. Aug 31, 2021 at 0:38
  • @NateEldredge the generic question is, are any of these points worth hiring a lawyer for?
    – user39743
    Aug 31, 2021 at 0:40
  • 2
    It sounds like you got fired for being a bad employee and drama magnet. Neither is a protected class, so you probably don't have any viable cause of action.
    – bdb484
    Aug 31, 2021 at 4:57
  • 1
    That would be discrimination, but "discrimination" isn't illegal. We all do it every day. If you can demonstrate that its based on your protected conduct or membership in a protected class, you might have a case, but you haven't offered any facts to support that.
    – bdb484
    Sep 2, 2021 at 11:05

1 Answer 1



First, there does not appear to be unlawful discrimination: there is nothing to suggest that you are a member of a protected class and were terminated because of that.

Second, you were given no reason for your dismissal so your employer is not claiming you were terminated for just cause.

So, in BC, an employer "can end an employee's job by giving written working notice or pay" and this is perfectly legal. For someone who worked for "about 6 months", the notice/pay period is 1 week. So either they must give you 1 weeks work or pay you 1 weeks wages.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .