In order to be terminated for just cause, an employer has to demonstrate a high level of misconduct or gross incompetence. Certain types of behaviour have been found by the Court to substantiate a just cause dismissal, including but not limited to:
-Persistent lateness or absenteeism;
-Incompetence or inability to perform a job after a progressive disciplinary plan has been instituted. An employer will be required to institute a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), setting out clear standards for performance improvement and offering the employee training and resources to improve, following which, if the employees’ behaviour does not change, a just cause dismissal may be warranted.
That being said, even those employees that demonstrate some of the above-noted careless behaviour will not do so to such an extent that a Court would view it as justifying a dismissal for cause. The law in Ontario protects workers and is not intended to be punitive for those that innocently or inadvertently do not meet their employer’s standards. Those employees with especially long lengths of service and seniority for their employer will require a higher level of misconduct to be deemed terminated from their employment for cause.
If you have been terminated from your employment for alleged just cause, kindly contact our employment law firm to review the circumstances around your dismissal an determine whether you are in fact entitled to a severance package. We have represented numerous employees that have been terminated for cause and not offered a severance package, only to subsequently negotiated several thousand dollars in severance pay.
Recently, we have negotiated substantial severance packages for employees that were terminated for cause from their employment for the following reasons:
-Taking a leave of absence and disagreements with the boss, which led to a termination. The employer did not undertake any progressive disciplinary and decided to terminate the employee immediately without severance;
-Our client was rude to a call-centre representative at a large employer and also had some issues with lateness and absenteeism; nevertheless, her conduct did reach a level sufficient for a just cause dismissal, and we obtained a severance package on her behalf;
-An employee with 20+ years experience was assigned a new job position in the past year and had made a number of mistakes and was warned by management. He was put on a progressive disciplinary program; however, given his length of service and dedication to the company, his incompetence did not justify a just cause dismissal and we managed to negotiate a substantial severance for this client as well.
Accordingly, if you have been terminated for cause from your employment, do not accept your employers’ reasoning before contacting an employment lawyer for a free consultation and review of your termination letter.