Discharge without just cause: Reinstatement or damages?

In labour arbitrations, remedies other than reinstatement are becoming more common when employment relationship is damaged
By Sarah Crossley and Michael Torrance
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Alternatives to reinstatement

Reinstatement is one of the remedies arbitrators can consider as a resolution to a successful grievance in a unionized environment. However, sometimes the employment relationship is no longer viable due to the actions of the employee or the nature of the dispute, which makes reinstatement an undesirable solution.

Arbitrators are becoming more willing to consider creative remedies other than simply reinstatement, even where just cause for termination cannot be established. Damages may be an alternative remedy, but how can employers know what to expect?

Reinstatement is viewed as the ideal “make whole” remedy for the unlawfully dismissed employee, but is not normally available through the courts.