When an employee is terminated from his or her employment, it can either be a “termination with cause” or a “termination without cause”. If an employer has “cause” to terminate an employee’s employment, that employer can terminate the employee without providing any notice or paying the employee anything instead of giving notice. An employee may also be ineligible to collect employment insurance benefits. What constitutes “cause” for termination, however, is typically assessed on a case-by-case basis.
What Is Just Cause For Dismissal?
The Courts have held that an employer may terminate an employee’s employment “with cause” if the employee is “…guilty of serious misconduct, habitual neglect of duty, incompetence, or conduct incompatible with his duties, or prejudicial to the employer’s business, or if he has been guilty of willful disobedience to the employer’s orders in a matter of substance.”
When deciding whether an employer has “cause” to terminate, the Courts look at two primary issues: 1) whether the misconduct may be proven; and 2) whether the nature or degree of the misconduct is sufficient to dismiss the employee without any notice or pay in lieu thereof.
- Did the employee misconduct result in a breakdown of the employment relationship?
- What role does the employee have with the employer?
- How senior is the employee?
- What is the nature of the employer’s business?
- Did the employer give a warning before they terminated the employee?
- Did the employer condone the conduct or not raise an issue with the conduct previously?
These are all issues that need to be considered when determining whether the employer has “just cause”. If it can be proven that an employer has alleged “just cause” in order to avoid having to pay the employee any form of notice or severance, the Court may order the employer to pay punitive damages for bad faith.
Basis For Casual Employment Termination
While there is no hard-fast rule as to what constitutes “cause”, the case-law has outlined a number of categories of misconduct that have formed the basis for a causal termination. Some examples include:
- Harassment; and
Experienced Employment Law Lawyers
Whatever the case may be, we at KCY at LAW have the experience and expertise necessary to effectively assist both employers and employees to ensure your legal rights are properly looked after.
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