What does it mean to be terminated with just cause?

What does it mean to be terminated with just cause?

When terminating employees without cause, employers have the responsibility of providing reasonable notice before the employment relationship is officially severed. Employers are usually required to provide this notice, however there is one exception. The anomaly is if the employer has reasonable grounds to terminate an employee with just cause.

If an employer terminates an employee with just cause, they must prove that the actions of the employee equated to a level of severity that could not allow them to be a responsible employee. Terminating with just cause eliminates an employee’s right to reasonable notice, a right outlined in the Employment Standards Act, and the employer must display evidence that there is an extenuating circumstance that has given them no other option but to terminate in this manner.

For the employer to terminate with just cause, the extenuating circumstance must relate to the conditions of the employee, meaning, their duties as an employee or even a personal matter. They could also relate to the conditions of the employer, for example, the policies or workplace culture. And lastly, the conditions of the event(s), for example, whether the actions were recurring and flagged in the past, could also be at issue.

If the court decides there are no reasonable grounds to terminate the employee with just cause, then the employer must provide pay in lieu of notice. On the other hand, if the employer succeeds in proving termination with just cause was acceptable, then the punishment could be grave. For example, the employee may no longer be entitled to their severance pay or other benefits they were promised at the end of their Employment Contract.

If you were terminated with just cause or want to know whether you have reasonable grounds to terminate your employee with just cause, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.