Just Cause For Termination Services

Employers Need To Prove Just Cause

Employers often assert that they have just cause to terminate an employment relationship, but they rarely do. Just cause is very hard to establish. It is often present in cases of very serious misconduct such as theft or violence, and more rarely present in cases of poor work performance, with most conduct falling somewhere in between.

It is difficult for employers to establish just cause, because if they do establish it then the employee is not entitled to any severance. As a result, courts usually require employers to establish either very serious misconduct or a series of lesser misconduct or poor performance coupled with clear warnings and an opportunity to improve that the employee did not follow through on.

You May Be Entitled To a Severance

The temptation to pay as little as possible leads many employers to allege they have just cause for termination on flimsy grounds. This is not without risks for employers, because alleging this can in some cases lead to higher severance awards for employees in court.

We have skill and experience at representing employees and employers in alleged just cause cases.

Cautionary Notes

  • If you are being investigated for misconduct, speaking to a lawyer early-on can help you protect your rights through that process and a termination of employment
  • If you are an employer, you should get legal advice before making the decision to allege just cause.  It is a serious allegation and making it can have consequences for employers

Just Cause For Termination FAQ

  • I did something wrong at work, and my employer says it has just cause. Is there anything I can do?

    If your employer says it has just cause, usually there is still something you can do. Most misconduct is not just cause for dismissal, and even if the misconduct is fairly bad you have options and often will be able to get severance.

  • If I was dismissed for refusing to get COVID vaccinated, should I be getting severance?

    If you were dismissed for refusing to get COVID vaccinated, you may be entitled to severance if there is no just cause for dismissal. Whether there is just cause will depend on your particular case, but relevant factors include whether you have a disability or religious exemption, whether you work remotely, and whether you work in a setting with people who are elderly or have compromised immune systems.

Contact Us

Suite #1240, 540 – 5 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0M2


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