In order to terminate an employee for cause, an employer must demonstrate that the employee engaged in serious misconduct (i.e., theft, physical harassment or sexual harassment) or that the company placed the employee on a progressive disciplinary plan that sets various performance targets that were not met. In a progressive disciplinary plan, the employee is provided with the opportunity to perform in a satisfactory manner that enables him or her to maintain employed. However, if the plan objectives are not met and the employee continues to engage in poor performance, this may constitute grounds for a just cause termination.
In a recent case called Saikaly v. Akman Construction Ltd., an Office Manager was found to have been wrongfully terminated for cause. It was found that the employee did not commit any wrongdoing that would rise to the level required for a just cause termination; as such, the employee was entitled to notice of termination or payment in lieu thereof. In awarding severance pay, the employee received over $150,000.00 plus almost $10,000.00 towards legal costs, representing 24 months of pay.
The employee denied that he ever engaged in any wrongdoing or that he was notified by the employer of the reason for the termination of employment. The Plaintiff commenced a Court Action for wrongful dismissal and the Defendant did not respond. Later, the Defendant was noted in default, the consequences of which is that the defaulting party is deemed to admit all allegations in the Claim.
As a 60-year old employee with managerial duties, the Court found that it would be especially challenging for this individual to obtain new employment. If you are provided with a severance package or terminated from your employment for cause, it is important to obtain legal advice to ensure that you take the proper steps to obtain the compensation you deserve.
At Goldstein Law Firm, we have expertise in obtaining severance packages for wrongfully dismissed employees.