Determining what conduct amounts to just cause for dismissal is no easy task. In part this is due to just cause being inherently situation specific. When describing what may constitute just cause, employment lawyers often refer to extreme examples: think of situations where a public-facing employee makes repeated racial slurs to a customer or commits major fraud in the course of their duties. Typically, such facts will prove fertile ground for successful assertions of just cause for dismissal by an employer.
Even so, context is always key. As the following examples demonstrate, situations that on the surface may appear to support (or not support) an allegation of just cause for dismissal can often yield surprising results.
Not cause: punching a co-worker in the face (Phanlouvong v. Northfield Metal Products (1994) Ltd. et al)
Phanlouvong was a long service manufacturing employee. One morning before starting his shift, a co-worker … Continue reading “Just cause for dismissal: context is key”