I am a Level III certified swim coach and have been coaching for 18 years. I have been in this current coaching position for 5 years. On June 13th I was called into a short meeting with the president and vice president of the team. I was handed a letter of termination stating "Unfortunately this letter is providing you with notice that your employment with the ... will end on October 13, 2012. We want to be clear that ... is not alleging cause, and you will find attached to this correspondence a letter of recommendation to assist you in your search for new emplyment. The swim club will provide you with your full salary, less deductions, during the notice period. It is expected that you will continue to fulfill your job duties during this time until October 13, 2012. However .... will be helpful and cooperative in allowing you time to apply for new jobs and attend interviews as necessary. In the event you obtain new employment before October 13, 2012 you are required to notify ... right away and your employment and notice period with ... will end upon your starting new employment. However, if it happens that your new position does not pay you as much as you are currently making at .... , we will top up your salary to your current level of renumeration until the end of the notice period on October 13, 2012. You will be provided a Record of Employment at the end of the notice period."This is the letter of recommendation " to Whom It May concern, I highly recommend Theresa as a candidate for employment. Theresa was employed by the ... as Head age Group Coach from 2007 - 2012. Theresa was responsible for helping develop her group's seasonl plan, practice content and needs: coached all Junior 2, Age Group 1 & 2 throughout the season from mid- September to mid-July: attended all swim meets that her group's swimmers competed in; organized and ran all Olympic Way sessions throughout the year; and drove the van for team travel on swim meets. Theresa is extremely organized, reliable and has good computer skills. Theresa can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. Theresa is willing to work on any project that is assigned to her and was quick to volunteer to assist in other areas of the club's operations, as well. Theresa would be a tremendous asset for your club, and has my highest recommendation. If you have any further questions with regard to her background or qualifications, please do not hesitate to contact me." signed by the president.After the meeting on June 13, I worked on June 14 and then until noon on the 15th. I could not help but break down and cry everytime I talked to someone. My husband took me to the doctor who gave me a 3 week medical leave and advised me to seek further help with mental health bc. Which I have done and this is helping. I am waiting for the Pro Bono Lawyer firm to contact me, but that has taken a week or more now with no answer. Within the week of this meeting my job was posted on the website, with application due tomorrow. I have been totally denied all my passwords to get access to our website. I really want my job, I love my job. I feel like I am part of some ugly and unfair game. I have my resume, cover letter and of course the letter of recommendation ready to send to the board for tomorrow.Please advise me if I am doing the right thing, I would like to stay within the law, but at the same time I have my rights to protect. Is the notice of my termination without just cause legal?If any more information is required, please let me know.Thank You,Theresa
Province/Territory relating to question: British Columbia
I am sorry to hear of this.
I know this is a difficult transition for you.
There is absolutely no problem applying for your own job. It may show commitment and gumption that may sway some unknown view that you are not suitable.
In my opinion, your employer has received legal advice on this or are savvy from previous experience.
No employer (absent a Union contract) needs a good reason to terminate an employee. What they have to do is give sufficient notice or termination or pay in lieu of notice. This surprises many people. As an employer myself, I can decide to dismiss an employee for no good reason at all.
What I cannot do is wrongfully dismiss except for cause.
Cause is an employment offence. The employee stole something, did not take reasonable directions or refused to work. Then an employer can just say you are fired.
Without just cause, an employer cannot wrongfully dismiss. That means notice or pay as stated. This employer has decided to take a cautious approach and has given notice instead of money. They are well within the envelope of reasonable notice being like a month for each year of service.
They can restrict access to some information but cannot change your work to the extent that you find it unbearable and you have to quit. That is known as constructive dismissal and you could quit and sue. But, you would get the 5 months pay. Absent horrific facts, an employee is only entitled to notice or pay and the employer can dismiss at will.
If this news has already done damage, the concept of a long and expensive law suit to get you back to the same place is not on in my opinion. It will really do emotional damage even if you get a pro bono lawyer which I doubt you will. The reason I say that is that I do pro bono work but only where there is a potential to advance the person's case. You are sad and offended but are already in the best place you could be given the unreasonable employer.
I am not suggesting you give up on anything and having your own personal legal advice is best.
But, generally speaking, an employer can terminate and as long as they either pay or give adequate notice.
I support you making the application to the Board. Include their own letter stating what you have done so well. That will get the Board talking I hope.
If this is a Society that you are a member of or a publicly funded body, you may be able to get the minutes of Board meetings.
You may not succeed but you will probably feel better and whatever is happening, you will probably earn more respect and cause questions to be asked. This step is better at this stage than court in my opinion.
I hear your devotion and shock. You applying for your job would be a good thing no matter what happens. Court is not in my opinion.
I hope I have assisted even if the information is not what you wanted. Of course continue with your efforts to get your own lawyer. On the instant point of applying, I say do it!
Please let me know if you need more information or clarification.
Thank You Tom,
Thank You Tom, I will be in touch if I need more help.
Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1991
Hello Tom, I received your reply to my letter really supportive and on Friday I prepared my cover letter, resume and my letter of recommendation. I sent a copy the the Head Coach and a BCC to each of the 11 board members. I also made a hard copy and put one in each of their mailslots at the pool. I also sent the board members a letter requesting an in camera meeting with them to discuss a lot of misgivings and incorrect information about myself. I have not heard a thing from anyone. It could be because of the long weekend. I will also meet a parent/lawyer for coffee on Monday or Tuesday, I am hoping she may advice a bit and help.
In the meantime, I really appreciated your help and advice,