What are SOME grounds for just cause dismissal?

Some basics on just cause termination – you may have been terminated inappropriately.

Disputing just cause termination issues are some of my favorite cases to advance for terminated employees. Out of the absolute infinite possibilities I often counsel clients on just cause termination issues such as:

  • insubordination;
  • conflict of interest;
  • incompetence;
  • absenteeism and lateness;
  • dishonesty;
  • misconduct;
  • intoxication and addiction;
  • sexual harassment;
  • off-duty conduct; and
  • illness or disability.

It’s important to note that in appropriate circumstances, any of these forms of misconduct may be sufficient to support just cause termination. Your contract of employment (written or implied) has an implied term which states that your employer can terminate your job for just cause, without being obligated to give reasonable notice or similar statutory termination payments.

The issue in just cause is whether you have been guilty of misconduct, sufficient to support your termination and this is always a factual determination.  It is case by case and determined individually and factually.

Who bears the onus of proving your termination for just cause?

Your employer bears the onus of proving just cause termination. Not you. If there is no just cause for an employee’s termination, you will usually be entitled to reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice from the date of termination. Whether

just cause for summary dismissal exists normally depends upon the employer’s conduct. In some cases, employers may be under a duty to provide you with a warning that particular behavior is not acceptable before resorting to firing you.

The failure to provide a warning may be fatal to a finding of just cause for termination.

You're Fired SignThe doctrine of condonation is also a potential barrier to a finding of just cause on your behalf. If your employer has previously condoned, overlooked, or forgiven certain misconduct that might otherwise support your termination, your employer may be unable to justify your  just cause termination without notice. In such cases, the onus is usually on you to prove that your behaviour had been condoned in the past.

An employer who provides a warning to an employee has been held to have condoned the employee’s misconduct, precluding the employer from relying upon the same incident to support summary dismissal. Of course, if the employee were to repeat the misconduct, or to exhibit other unacceptable behaviour after the warning, just cause for dismissal might be appropriate, notwithstanding the employer’s earlier condonation.

Typically, an employer can only justify a termination for cause based upon conduct that occurred during the employment relationship. However, where the employer discovers, after terminating an employee, that the employee engaged in conduct sufficient to amount to just cause, the employer may use that conduct to justify a refusal to offer pay in lieu of notice.

On the other hand, where the misconduct occurs post-termination, the employer cannot, normally, use that evidence to justify the employee’s summary dismissal. Your post-termination conduct may, however, be properly considered as a factor explaining or highlighting other pre-termination behaviour. While false allegations of cause may result in a finding of bad faith against an employer, a failed just cause defence will not be punished if the allegations of cause were made by the employer in good faith

Absences from employment may or may not amount to just cause – it is all dependent on the facts. In the New Brunswick case of Walsten vs. Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation the Manitoba’s Queen’s Bench determined that two workers unexplained absences did not amount to just cause – since their job expectations (described at “lax”) did not involve fix days hours or even work.

What about misconduct or drinking at work? In the case of Ritchie vs. Richelieu Hardware Canada ltd. an Ontario Judge held that a warehouse manager’s termination for drinking at work was wrongful, seeing how the employer supplied the booze and made it readily available during work hours.

You may have been terminated without cause inappropriately. For more information please fill in a contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 5 hours.

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    Summer Camp Injury Lawyers

    Summer Camp Injury Lawyers

    There are no better summer memories made by kids than joyful summer camp memories – whether day camp or overnight camp. Summer camp is a great way to occupy a kid’s time, be a fun experience, a great way to connect kids with other kids, build lasting friendships, better connect kids with the outdoors, with new activities, water activities, outdoor education and school programs. Unfortunately summer camp can also be a dangerous place for kids if they are not properly supervised, the camp is an unsafe environment or the camp is run improperly or by improper management. While there are many great advantages to spending time at summer camp, there is, as always, the possibility of your child being injured. While most summer camps do in fact take the necessary precautions to provide a safe environment for kids – some unfortunately don’t.

    What type of summer camp negligence do we typically see this time of year?

    Unfortunately, but somewhat predictably, we sometimes see the following acts of negligence which leads to an injury during the summer :

    Bus Accidents

    Bus accident are not uncommon events. Often times children are bused to summer camps and most busses do not employ the use of seatbelts. Kids can be injured if the bus gets into a bus accident on the way to summer camp even with the slightest impact or t-bone type car accident. Kids can easily be thrown from their seats and become terribly injured. It is the responsibility of the summer camp and bus company to get kids to their safe summer camp destination.

    Tree Injuries

    Kids can be at risk from the moment they step onto the summer camp bus until they return home. While most kids return unharmed most of the time, there is an inherent risk that kids can be injured at summer camp or in the wilderness. Kids have a tendency to climb trees and if left improperly supervised accidents can happen. In addition, kids can be also hurt by falling trees in the summer campground. For example- this past year in Sonora California 20 kids were injured when a tree fell on a camp dining hall.

    Poorly maintained facilities

    Poorly maintained summer cap facilities can lead to preventable accidents and injuries caused by slip and falls, trip and falls, faulty equipment, faulty water devices and faulty playground facilities.

    Burn Injuries and Fire Hazards

    Pediatric burns at summer camps are one of the most common injuries . Making a campfire wither at the summer camp or on overnight summer camp trips, as well as cooking and sitting around a fire is a common and popular activity for camp-goers and if they are not properly supervised by trained adults, kids can be severely injured. Many of these injuries can be prevented if the kids are supervised by properly trained camp staff both to ensure that kids are safe and to perform the proper first aid if they are injured.

    Drowning Accidents

    kids canoeing
    summer camp lawyers

    The accidental drowning of a child is a parents worst nightmare. If the summer camp has a pool, lake or a river there must absolutely be an established protocol of lifeguard safety procedures at summer camp. Before you send your children to any summer camp make sure that the camp staff is properly trained in cpr and proper water safety procedures – and also – it is very important to have confirmed that there is always an adequate ratio of staff members to summer campers and kids in order to be certain that your kid will always be properly supervised.

    Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding can turn very dangerous for kids – especially inexperienced kids – at summer camp when the horse fails to adhere to rider commands. Horseback riding injuries or accidents at summer camp can cause serious spinal cord injury or permanent damages or injuries to the riders.While recreational riding at summer camp is not always dangerous, it can become a so when the summer camp putting on the activity fails to adhere to proper safety procedures. Inexperienced horse riding summer campers are surely at risk of serious injuries from horseback riding accidents – especially if they ride a horse that, for example, has been improper horse trained, has a bad demeanor, there is obvious pairing an inexperienced rider with an expert horse, the horse had been injured or mistreated, or the horse was fit with improper equipment for riding.

    Sexual Abuse

    Camp counselors, counselors in training or camp staff volunteers have a duty to protect kids that they were entrusted with. They are responsible for their safety, supervision and well-being. Sometimes, unfortunately, summer camps fail to exercise their due care and children get abused or hurt. Sometimes improper background checks or lack of background checks can lead to instances of disaster. Sometimes camp security fails at keeping unwanted visitors off the grounds.

    The camp owners are vicariously responsible for the security of their camp sites and if a child is abused at all, in any way or manner, at a summer camp, the camp is liable and may be sued for damages for compensation.

    Lack of Supervision

    Summer camp is full of activities from rope climbing, to capture the flag, to paint ball, to overnight boating or canoe trips. At any time unsupervised activity can turn dangerous when summer camp staff fail to supervise or to simply use common sense to safeguard children from danger. Summer camp staff must be adequately trained, there must be summer camp safety plans to respond to summer camp emergencies in instances when children are injured in such activities as boating, hiking, swimming, canoeing, skateboarding, sports related injuries, competitive games for example as archery.

    Summer Camp Injury Lawyers Who Hold Summer Camps Fully Responsible

    If your child has been harmed in any manner at summer camp, you have the right to hold the camp accountable. We have the knowledge and experience advocating on behalf the families of kids who have been hurt or harmed due to the negligence of summer camps and their employees.


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      Is parking your car, getting out of it and tripping over a curb a “car accident”?

      If you are injured in a car accident you are entitled to certain “benefits.”  The question in this case is whether or not the driver of a car was entitled to those benefits.

      automobile accidentBefore answering this question it’s important to note that when you get into a car accident you are entitled to receive certain “benefits” to help reintegrate you into society. If you are in a car accident you can receive car accident benefits like “attendant care” benefits which pays for people to attend to your care if your injuries prevent you from taking care of your needs at home. You can also receive income replacement benefits which helps replaces some of your income. You can also receive medical and rehabilitation benefits to pay for your therapy, medication ect.  These benefits – which are quite numerous – are quite vital to a person’s well being after a car accident.  In this care Mr. Prest was asking a Court weather or not he had “an accident” that would allow him to access these benefits…

      What happened – was this a technically a car accident?

      In the early afternoon of April 13th 2012 Mr. Prest parked his car in a parking spot in the garage of his apartment building so that he could wash it.  He got out of his car, walked around it and tripped over a concrete curb that “stuck out” from the wall of the parking garage.  He stated his right hand was touching the car when he tripped.  The Court said that there was no issue he suffered an impairment as a result of the incident.

      What does the insurance laws say about this – is this a car accident?

      Subsection 3(1) of the Schedule defines “accident” as meaning “an incident in which the use or operation of an automobile directly causes an impairment … .”

      The Court looked at two Court of Appeal cases in the past –  (from 2002 and 2004) that asked the question a two-part test that involves a consideration of the following questions:

      (a)  Did the incident arise out of the use or operation of an automobile (the “purpose test”); and

      (b)  Did such use or operation of an automobile directly cause the impairment (the “causation test”).

       What did the Court say? Is tripping over a curb while going to wash your car an accident?

      In examining the purpose test, the Court must determine whether the incident or accident resulted from the “ordinary and well known activities to which automobiles are put”. They found that it did not. At the time of the incident the vehicle was being neither used nor operated.  They noted that the car was parked in it’s regular parking spot for the purpose of washing it.  A parking spot at one’s residence is typically where a car is put when there is no intent to use it.

      Here the only role played by the car was that Mr. Prest drove it to the general location of where the incident occurred.  The use of the car had ended without injury being suffered.

      Mr. Prest got out of his car and then was subsequently injured by a new intervening act, namely when he tripped over the curb that in his words “stuck out”.  He parked the car in its usual spot and that did not create any special risk beyond the risk faced by Mr. Prest every time he parked his car in his parking spot.  If that curb is in a bad location or is otherwise dangerous, that is an occupier’s liability issue.

      The answer was no – this was not a car accident. Poor Mr. Prest was not injured in a car accident or by the use or operation of his car and unfortunately he was not entitled to car accident benefits to help him get better. In this instance he had to rely elsewhere for payment of his rehabilitation.

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