Progressive discipline uses a progression of consequences that gradually increase in severity to deal with the employee’s continued failure to meet expectations. While progressive discipline signifies that the employer takes these issues seriously, it also demonstrates a fairness with the use of proportionality, where the conduct is weighed against severity. It also allows the employee the opportunity to understand their shortcomings along with repeated multiple opportunities to correct their behaviour.
just cause dismissal
To my mind, what Barresi demonstrates is that the line between employment law principles and “independent contractor” commercial law principles continues to blur. As the nature of what it means to be “employed” continues to evolve, so too must the law.
A recent case (Headley v. City of Toronto, 2019 ONSC 4496 (CanLII)) shows that alleging just cause for termination for a long-service employee can be a risky and costly strategy.