Quitting is Not Always Quitting

by | May 10, 2023 | Employment Law

In an ideal world an employee will quit by providing a two week notice and at the end of the two weeks will stop working. Sometimes though an employee gets so frustrated and states “I quit” and walks out of the place of the employment. As an employer though one cannot be too quick to accept this as the employee’s resignation. Courts in British Columbia have determined findings of wrongful dismissal when an employer has accepted resignations in circumstances described above.

A leading case in determining whether a resignation has occurred or not is Beggs v Westport Foods Ltd., 2011 BCAA 76. The Court of Appeal determined that there is a two-factor analysis when deciding whether an employee has truly resigned consisting of the following questions:

  1. Whether the employee intended to resign?
  2. Whether the employee’s words and acts, objectively support a finding of resignation?

The Court will consider the employee’s state of mind at the time of the alleged resignation and whether the employee attempted to retract the resignation.

When it comes to a spur-of-the-moment resignation it is advised that an employer let a few days pass before acting upon the resignation to see if an employee comes back into work.

If you are faced with the above situation properly as an employer it is your duty to inquire into whether the employee truly meant to resign or not and not take advantage of the opportunity to dismiss a disgruntled employee. 

This this information is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Individuals should consult with their personal legal professional regarding the information provided herein.

<a href="https://averylawoffice.ca/author/anne-marie/" target="_self">Anne-Marie Mizzi</a>

Anne-Marie Mizzi

Anne-Marie started her legal career at our Summerland office May 2021. She is be a recent Juris Doctorate graduate from Thompson Rivers University. While at Thompson Rivers University she participated in the Law Rugby Club and Access to Justice Club. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Saint Francis Xavier University in 2018. While at Saint Francis Xavier University she was the vice president of the Political Science Society and was a member of the Model United Nations team. Wherever she goes she likes to be involved in the community and looks forward to participating in what Summerland has to offer. She is also an animal lover having a cat of her own!