There are two types of dismissal in Canada: with cause, and without cause. While most dismissals are without cause, you can be summarily dismissed for misconduct, poor performance, and even off-duty conduct (such as online conduct) in appropriate circumstances.
Courts recognize that being dismissed for cause is extremely harsh – they have referred to it as “the capital punishment of employment law”. That’s because if you are dismissed for cause, you are not entitled to anything – no notice, no termination pay, and no severance.
Stuart has spent years studying the law regarding dismissal for cause, and has literally written the book. In the course of updating his book, You’re Fired! Just Cause for Dismissal in Canada, he and his team review every just cause case in Canada. They know know that every year, there are a substantial number of cases where courts and arbitrators find that summary dismissal was too harsh, and that the employee is entitled to compensation for the termination of their employment.
The onus is on the employer to prove just cause, and the threshold is high. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just the incident or misconduct in question that is to be considered, but all relevant factors. In some cases, two employees that are guilty of the same offence will receive different levels of punishment.
Just because your employer says that it has just cause to fire you does not make it true. We have the knowledge and experience to properly advise employees that have been dismissed for cause, assess their potential claim, and work with them to pursue their rights. We can advise you as to whether just cause for dismissal existed, regardless of what your former employer might say.