Wrongful Termination With Cause

Wrongful termination with “cause” – when an employee is terminated with cause, the employer must prove, with compelling evidence, that the employment relationship is no longer viable due to serious employee misconduct.

What constitutes cause for immediate termination in Ontario depends on a detailed review of the alleged misconduct and whether it can be proved in a court of law, together with a review of all the surrounding facts and the work history of the person involved. The courts have repeatedly said that it is difficult to prove that just cause has been established.

Numerous affirmative defences are available to rebut an allegation of cause. For example, if the employer delays taking action after knowing about the questionable conduct, this can undermine an employer’s ability to prove cause. If other employees have engaged in the same misconduct but were not disciplined uniformly, this can also form the basis of a strong defence.

Wrongful Termination Without Cause

Wrongful termination “without cause” – occurs when an employee is terminated without cause and has served proper written notice of termination. Unless extenuating circumstances exist, the common law says that an employer can always terminate an employee without notice (unless the employee’s statutory rights are triggered) as long as appropriate and sufficient common law notice and statutory entitlements are provided. In these cases, employees are entitled to be paid their common law notice entitlements, all things being equal. Under the Employment Standards Act, Statutory entitlements are the minimum amounts employers must pay employees. Common law notice is usually expressed in terms of “months,” and statutory entitlements are stated in terms of “weeks.” While an employer must pay out the minimum entitlements, an employee or executive’s actual entitlements, in terms of compensation, are all based on the common law and only available through court action if negotiations prove unsuccessful. 

In Canada, an employee or executive who is terminated from their employment on a without cause basis is legally entitled to reasonable common law notice but must be paid calculated based on the total value of their compensation entitlements (the entire compensation package and not just base salary, which may include: benefits, earned bonuses and stock options, pension contributions or the monetary equivalents, car allowance, etc.). How much common law notice and compensation someone is entitled to upon termination generally depends on an individual assessment of various factors, such as age, position, length of service and availability of similar employment. 

Additional damages may be available for aggravated or moral damages due to how the termination was undertaken, such as when an employer acts in an unduly harsh or insensitive way. In addition, if an employee or executive has a disability when terminated or if one of the reasons for the termination amounts to discrimination, additional damages may also be available if their rights under the Human Rights Code have been violated. Punitive damages may also be available where the conduct in question by the employer is outrageous and the court wishes to punish an employer for horrible behaviour.

Wrongful Termination Lawyer

If you need a wrongful termination lawyer, contact John Evans.

With 30 years of experience as a practising litigation/employment/labour lawyer, John is focused on achieving the very best results for his clients. He has fine-tuned his skills and mastered the art of persuasion. With his stellar reputation, John holds the respect of the lawyers he acts against. Smart, tactical and a particularly quick study, John is committed to exceeding his clients’ expectations.

Contact Evans Law Firm

Contact Evans Law Firm today for a free no-obligation consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer. Sometimes time limits can bar an otherwise good claim from being advanced. Please don’t delay and contact us as soon as possible. There is no cost until John is formally retained and a written retainer agreement is in place.