For Employees

BC’s New Limitation Act – What Employees Need to Know

Generally speaking, the Limitation Act is the legislation that sets out the time that parties have to start court proceedings pursuing their claim. The time one has to sue is called a “limitation period”.

The previous Limitation Act (the “Old Act” for ease of reference), provided for two, six and ten year limitation periods depending on the type of claim, with most employment related claims subject to the six year limitation period.

On June 1, 2013, a new Limitation Act (the “New Act”) came into effect in British Columbia. Under this New Act, most employment related claims are now subject to a two year limitation period.

The New Act’s limitation periods will apply to claims arising from acts or omissions that occur and are discovered on or after June 1, 2013.

Claims where the act or omission occurred and was discovered prior to June 1, 2013, will continue to fall under the Old Act.

So what does this mean for employees?

It means that if you have an employment-related claim against your employer that arises on or after June 1, 2013, you generally have two years to sue your employer in relation to that claim. If you do not sue within two years, you may lose your claim.

So for example, if you were wrongfully dismissed on June 1, 2013, then that you would typically have two years from that date to pursue a wrongful dismissal claim. If the you wait more than two years from June 1, 2013, you may lose the ability to pursue a wrongful dismissal claim.

If you were wrongfully dismissed from your job on March 1, 2013, then you continue to have six years from that date to pursue your claim as the Old Act, which has a six year time-limit for most wrongful dismissal claims, continues to apply.

That being said, there are certain provisions under the Limitation Act that may allow you more time to sue in cases of disability or minors. It’s also possible that an employee and an employer could agree to a limitation period that is different from that set out in the Limitation Act.

It should be noted that the new Limitation Act does not extend the usual six-month time limit for filing a complaint with the Employment Standards Branch in British Columbia.

In the end, you should be aware of the time limits relating to any potential claim against your employer. If you wait too long, you may lose your claim.

For more information on how the Limitation Act affects your particular situation, please contact us to schedule a meeting.

This blog is produced by Waterstone Law Group LLP. This blog is intended for information purposes only and is not offered as legal advice for a specific claim. Subscription to or use of this site does not establish a solicitor – client relationship between the user and Waterstone Law Group LLP or any of the individual contributors. For advice relating to your employment law claim, please contact us to arrange for a consultation.

Comments are closed.