Dismissal with cause and consequences for the employee
If an employee is fired from work as a result of a dismissal with cause there are several legal and practical consequences he or she must be aware of. Employers in Ontario are entitled to dismiss employees without a reason if the employees are given reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. The reasonable notice and/or pay in lieu of notice is in place to ensure that the dismissed employee has sufficient time to search for and secure another job. The length of reasonable notice and the amount of pay in lieu of notice are tied to various factors including how long the employee has been with the company. More information on the notice requirements in a termination without cause is found under the wrongful dismissal section. In a dismissal with cause, the employer does not have to give the employee reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. Whether or not there is cause therefore plays a role in whether or not the employee is the subject of a wrongful dismissal.
If there is no cause to dismiss the employee, then the employee may be entitled to sue and should consult with a wrongful dismissal lawyer. The Employment Standards Act guide outlines the various kinds of compensation the employee may be entitled to receive. The amounts under the Employment Standards Act are minimums. A wrongfully dismissed employee may be entitled to significantly higher compensation at common law than the Employment Standards Act minimums.
In a dismissal with cause, the employer is entitled to dismiss the employee without reasonable notice and without pay in lieu of notice. This means that a dismissal with cause significantly affects the ability of the dismissed employee to sustain his or her financial affairs. A dismissal for cause is a very serious step by the employer, and should not be taken lightly. Furthermore, employers should be aware that the legal burden is on the employer to show that there was cause to dismiss the employee. Once alleged, the employer must demonstrate that a dismissal with cause was warranted.
Defending against a dismissal with cause scenario
Employees and employers alike should be aware that there are many instances when the alleged misconduct of the employee does not amount to just cause dismiss. Although it may seem that the alleged misconduct warrants a dismissal without cause, this is an extreme step that is not to be taken lightly.
A dismissal with cause results in the employer not having to give the employee reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice. Employees have a duty to mitigate. It essentially means that the employee must make efforts to secure another job after he or she is dismissed. A dismissal with cause may affect the employee’s ability to mitigate as it may be come more difficult to secure a new job. The employer may refuse to give the dismissed employee a reference letter, or may make a note on the employee’s record of employment that there was cause to dismiss the employee. A dismissal with cause may therefore have significant consequences on the ability of the dismissed employee to find alternate employment.
The consequences the employee faces in a dismissal with cause may be severe. If your company is considering dismissing someone and alleging just cause, it is important to ensure that the alleged misconduct truly amounts to cause. If cause is alleged but is later found not to exist, the employer may be facing a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. It is therefore important to consult with an employment lawyer ahead of an attempt to dismiss an employee for cause. This is especially true of tenured employees who have been with their employer for many years.
The information on this website is for informative purposes only. It is not legal advice. A lawyer can only be retained after a consultation. If you need a wrongful dismissal lawyer or if you have any other employment law issues, call me at: 416 323 3614