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Terminations of Employment for Just Cause

At Jagtoo & Jagtoo, Professional Corporation, we are frequently called upon to assess allegations of just cause. We are able to provide an objective, fair and analytic assessment of cause from the perspective of the employer and the employee.


It is an implied term of every employment contract that an employee may be terminated for cause (or just cause). An employment contract may also outline conduct that may constitute just cause. Cause includes incompetence, insubordination, habitual absenteeism, frequent lateness, undermining management, bullying, harassment and theft.


Where an employee is dismissed with cause, there is generally no obligation for the employer to provide reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. Furthermore, if an employee is found to have engaged in willful misconduct then there will be no entitlement to termination and/or severance pay under employment standards legislation.


For an employer to be able to dismiss an employee without providing any notice or pay in lieu thereof the employee must have done something or failed to do something, which significantly undermines the employment relationship.


The employer must prove that it has cause to dismiss an employee. Where cause cannot be proven, the employer may be required to pay damages for wrongful dismissal, and sometimes, additional damages for alleging cause (where none exists).


Whether cause to terminate an employee without notice or pay in lieu thereof exists, is determined objectively, having regard to the particular facts of each case. Factors include the nature and degree of the conduct complained of, the culture of the workplace, the nature of the employer’s business, the position held by the employee, company policies, length of service and whether another form of discipline may have been more appropriate.


Jagtoo & Jagtoo, employment lawyers, is able to assess your circumstances, the allegations made and provide a sound, reliable opinion.

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