Are you curious about if an employee can be terminated for cause in Toronto? We have lawyers that can help you terminate an employee, dismiss an employee, and figure out the notice or pay in lieu of notice.
There are two ways to terminate an employee:
(a) Termination for cause or “just cause”; and
(b) Termination without cause.
When an individual is fired for cause, this means the individual did something to warrant the termination. Firing an employee for just cause is a high standard to prove. It is one that the employer is responsible for proving. Generally, there is a cause if the employee has fundamentally breached the employment contract. There is no easy way to identify what amounts to just cause. Most cases are unique and determined by their facts. However, just cause is difficult to prove.
Getting Terminated for Cause In Toronto
The most significant result of an employer terminating an employee for a cause is that the employer is not obligated to provide any common law or statutory entitlements. This would be under the Employment Standards Act. These entitlements include notice, termination pay, and severance pay.
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Examples of Termination for Cause
There are several categories of misconduct that form the basis for just cause to terminate. Speak to a lawyer before making big decisions.
Insubordination And Getting Terminated for Cause
Insubordination includes any refusal of an employee to follow instructions. Also, any other conduct of the employee constitutes a challenge to those in authority. Typically, an employer cannot terminate an employee for just cause for a single, minor act of insubordination. The grounds to terminate usually arise from a series of major acts of insubordination.
Lateness and Absenteeism
There is likely no valid excuse for persistent lateness. A series of warnings should amount to just cause for dismissal. Termination for absenteeism is more difficult. Some employees have good health. Others are more prone to illness. It is reasonable for an employer to require medical evidence. This can happen if there is an unusually high rate of absence. Repeated warnings and written instructions should be given to the employee. If the employee refuses to comply, the employer may be justified in terminating the employee without notice.
Dishonesty And Getting Terminated for Cause
When someone like an employee is dishonest, it refers to untrustworthy conduct such as theft or fraud. Dishonesty can also occur prior to employment. Also, it can happen during employment in matters unconnected with employment. Courts focus on the extent to which the conduct is connected with the employment relationship. Also, the extent that the conduct is suggestive of the future dependability of the employee. A single, minor incident of dishonesty would likely not justify termination for just cause. This is in contrast to major acts of dishonesty.
Terminated for cause in Toronto? It’s time to speak to an employment lawyer in Toronto.
Measuring incompetence extends beyond working ability. What is important is:
(a) the employee’s perception of actual work performed,
(b) what the employer said about the position prior to employment; and
(c) the job description.
Proving incompetence is difficult for employers. Employers must demonstrate that the level falls below an objective standard of reasonable competence. Incompetence is rarely the sole factor that leads to termination.
Terminated for Cause For Intoxication
Employers will likely be able to terminate an employee for just cause if the employee’s intoxication affects their work. This would be in a way that constitutes a risk to the lives or safety of others. Interestingly enough, courts may not find just cause if the employee came to work intoxicated for a brief period due to emotional or personal problems. This is unless there were safety considerations. Terminating an employee for just cause is harsh action.
The employer must be able to produce significant evidence for support. Therefore, employers should consistently document all employees’ work performances. They should also seek legal advice prior to carrying out the termination.
Constructive dismissal is an employee’s ability to consider themselves terminated. This is when an employer unilaterally alters a fundamental term of that employee’s employment contract. Such changes may include:
(a) substantial decreases in compensation; or
(b) significant changes in responsibilities.
An employee who has been constructively dismissed is entitled to the same termination and severance pay. This is the same as if he or she had been terminated without cause.
Terminated for cause in Toronto? Book a consultation with an employment lawyer.
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Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law