See: Slater v. Sandwell (1994), 5 C.C.E.L. (2d) 308 (Ont. Ct. (Gen.Div.); Machinger v. HOJ (1992), 55 D.L.R. (4th) 401 (S.C.C.)
McKinley v. BC Tel (2001), 9 C.C.E.L. (3d) 167 (S.C.C.)
Many are not aware that the relationship between an employer and employee is a type of contract. The dismissal of non-unionized employees (unionized employees are subject to "labour law" and their collective agreements), contrary to the rules that exist in Ontario and Canadian employment law may be a breach of a condition of the employment contract.
Employers must have a legitimate reason to dismiss their employees for "just cause." If not, this type of breach may be known as a "wrongful dismissal". Employers must comply with Canadian employment law requirements concerning how they deal with their employees during and after dismissal. Employers may be sued and the former employees may be awarded monies for the failure of the employer to provide reasonable notice and not having just cause for dismissal.
Canadian employment law requires a fairly high standard to dismiss an employee for just cause. An employer or employee may be wise to contact specialized legal counsel to determine if there is enough "cause" for the court to consider there to be just cause for dismissal without notice, or whether the employee will be able to sue for wrongfully dismissal.
If the employer does not have cause for dismissal it will be required to pay damages for lack of reasonable notice. The normal maximum is 24 months, depending upon the facts of the case. The Ontario Court of Appeal has held that in only extraordinary cases the notice can be greater than 24 months.
The employer will normally have to prove “gross misconduct”. As the court noted, in quoting S.R. Ball, Canadian Employment Law, dismissal without cause is the “capital punishment of employment law” [see: Johar v. Best Buy Canada Ltd. 2016 ONSC 5287 at para 11]
The courts require now require a contextual approach to fire an employee for just cause, and there is a requirement of proportionately [See McKinley v. BC Tel, 2001 SCC 38 and Dowling v. Ontario (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board) (2004), 37 CCEL (3d) 182 (Ont. C.A.)] Not showing the Court that dismissal was proportionate given the employee’s position, length of service and the circumstances of the case could lead to the payment of damages, the employee’s legal fees, and the employer’s legal fees.
At Ball Professional Corporation we take the legal issues around Wrongful Dismissal very seriously and are committed in making sure your employment and Human rights are represented at the highest level and addressed in the most professional manner. We will try to minimize the cost to you by using our vast experience in negotiations while making sure you get what you are legally entitled to according to Canadian employment law. Stacey Ball is one of the top employment lawyers in Toronto and represents clients across Canada. If you are not getting what you deserve we will fight for your rights all the way to the supreme court of Canada where Stacey Ball has fought and won protecting the interests of his clients