Just Cause Terminations

Many employers will take the position that they have “just cause” to terminate your employment. 

“Just cause” means that a Court would accept that you have engaged in conduct which is so severe that it justifies terminating your employment without any notice or compensation. 

Examples of behavior that can justify just cause for termination of employment include: 

  • Insubordination
  • Dishonesty
  • Absenteeism
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Workplace harassment, including sexual harassment
  • Off-duty conduct
  • Insolence
  • Breaching company policies
  • Performance issues

Your Next Steps

Please contact our Intake Specialist at workplacelaw@lypkielaw.com or 780-669-4542 should you require assistance with an Employment Law matter.

How difficult is it to prove “just cause”?

Fortunately for employees, the law of just cause for dismissal in Alberta favors employees over employers. It is generally very difficult to establish just cause, and particularly for only one instance of misconduct. 

Most Courts adopt the principles of progressive discipline and require that the employer provide sufficient warnings and the opportunity to improve before accepting that just cause has been established. Only in the most severe circumstances will a Court accept that a single instance of misconduct is sufficient to establish just cause. 

If my employer claims “just cause” am I entitled to compensation? 

Employers will often assert “just cause” to terminate your employment. This does not mean that the employer is correct. They will take this position to attempt to gain an advantage over your or to discourage you from claiming compensation which is properly due to you. 

As a result, be careful about taking the employer’s position at face value. It is important to seek legal advice to understand the law of just cause for termination and to determine if you have a claim for additional compensation.