Just cause for termination: A glimpse of the legal landscape

What constitutes just cause?
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Background

What is just cause for termination? A practical definition is pretty tough to formulate. Reconciling the body of law that exists is difficult when seemingly minor infractions are sometimes found to constitute just cause, while more egregious behaviour is often not.

The bottom line is that the existence of just cause cannot be determined using “hard-and-fast” rules; instead, each case must be assessed based upon its own unique set of circumstances. For that reason it is instructive to periodically review recent cases where just cause has been alleged in order to see when the courts have agreed and when they have not. Synopses of some recent examples of cases where just cause was alleged, but not necessarily found, are set out below.