Proving just cause just not enough

Ontario aerospace worker fired for cause still entitled to statutory severance: Court
By Peter Straszynski
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/26/2011

Every Canadian province has its own employment standards legislation that imposes minimum standard entitlements on the termination of employment. Where an employee has not signed a written agreement limiting termination entitlements to these minimums, or to some greater specific amount of notice or severance, the common law (except in Quebec) implies the employee is entitled to reasonable notice (or pay instead) on a termination without cause.

Many employers assume if they have just cause for termination, they won’t have to pay the fired worker statutory minimum notice and severance pay. This is not necessarily the case.

A recent decision by the Ontario Superior Court reminds us, in very clear terms, of three important cautions for employers wishing to assert just cause — the last of which deals squarely with possible differences between statutory and common law standards.