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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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cause for dismissal

Post-treatment agreements and accommodating alcoholism

A recent arbitrator’s decision concerned the enforceability of a pre-treatment agreement allowing an employer to terminate a unionized employee if he failed to abstain from the consumption of alcohol.

 

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Employee misconduct: Is it cause for dismissal?

A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice serves as a good reminder to employers that there is a high standard to dismiss an employee for cause, particularly if the employee has a good performance record and long service.

 

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Employer successfully proves dismissal for cause of long-service employee for false sick leave

It can be very difficult to establish cause for dismissal, particularly when the employee has lengthy service with the employer. However, on the right facts, it is possible to do so. MacBurnie v. Halterm Container Terminal Limited Partnership, 2013 NSSC 361, is a recent example of an employer that successfully proved at trial that it had dismissed an employee for cause.

 

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Proving cause remains an up-hill battle

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, confirming a trial decision, once again demonstrates the difficulty employers will face in satisfying courts in this province that there was cause for dismissal.

 

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Employers ask: what conduct by an employee constitutes cause for dismissal

frustrated-cause-for-dismissal

I am frequently asked by employer clients to describe what type of conduct by an employee will be held by the courts to qualify as cause for dismissal. Employers are often frustrated by the answer they receive – that it seems that nothing less than stealing money from the company will suffice. In the case of long time employees without prior instances of misconduct, theft may still be insufficient. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court has fortunately clarified the circumstances in which courts will find cause for dismissal as a result of dishonesty. What is striking about the decision is the reliance of the judge on a seemingly insignificant act committed by a nineteen year employee.

 

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Cause for dismissal

Just how far does an employee have to go for their behaviour to constitute cause for dismissal in employment law? The advice I generally give is that, short of outright dishonesty or criminal conduct, it is extremely difficult to prove cause.

 

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