Understanding termination for cause

In Canada, termination for cause is considered the capital punishment of employment law. It applies to inexcusable workplace misconduct such as dishonesty, insubordination, assault, or theft. Just cause for dismissal is reserved for the worst offenders.

Learn about termination for cause in your province:

Ontario  Alberta  British Columbia

Employers often get it wrong

Many employers mistakenly allege “cause” for reasons such as poor performance or lateness, believing it justifies termination without severance pay. However, establishing a valid termination for cause requires:

  • Proving the employee engaged in misconduct with malice
  • Proving the misconduct was severe
  • Showing that termination for cause was the only option available

If the dismissal “for cause” is not legitimate, it becomes a dismissal “without cause,” and as much as 24 months’ pay is owed to the employee as severance.

WATCH: Employment Lawyer Lior Samfiru addresses facts and falsehoods about dismissal for cause on a season 8 episode of the Employment Law Show.

Responding to a termination for cause

If you have been terminated for cause, it is vital to immediately contact an employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. Our experienced legal team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP has successfully handled thousands of cases of just cause dismissal. We can review your situation and determine whether your termination without severance pay is justified.

If your termination for cause does not stand up to scrutiny, we will pursue your rights, rescue your reputation, and work to secure the severance pay you deserve. Contact our employment lawyers in Ontario, Alberta or B.C. for expert legal assistance.

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More about termination for cause

Explore some of our past blogs and episodes from the Employment Law Show related to termination for cause in Canada.

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Kelly Pocha
Employment Law May 10th, 2018

Why Kelly Pocha’s Racist Tirade Likely Not “For Cause” Termination: CKNW

By Lior Samfiru

A video of Kelly Pocha's making racist comments has cost the woman her job. Does her conduct outside the office amount to…

Read Article
View Blog

The Employment Law Show

Employment Law Show - TV March 28th, 2024

Common Myths about the Termination Process | Employment Law Show TV – S8 E10

By Lior Samfiru

COMMON MYTHS ABOUT THE TERMINATION PROCESS, government advised severance pay, returning from maternity leave, and more on Season 8 Episode 10 of…

View Episode
View The Employment Law Show


Employment Law June 30th, 2018

B.C. restaurant manager fired for refusing to serve man in pro-Trump hat

By Lior Samfiru

A restaurant manager was fired for cause when he refused to serve a patron wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat. Did…

Read Article
View Blog

See what our clients are saying

When I lost my job I had no idea what my legal rights were. I contacted Lior Samfiru and was successful in winning the severance my company owed me. He helped me through this process. If you have any labour issues I would highly recommend Samfiru Tumarkin LLP to be by your side.
Missy V.E.
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I would highly recommend obtaining the advice of an employment lawyer when you are faced with a termination. There is a lot of information to be considered before you sign your release. I appreciated the advice I received and was happy with the outcome. I would not hesitate to contact them again.
Diane P.
  • 5 / 5
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I have to say I was worried about my case because it was complicated, but after my initial conversation with Lumi Pungea, I was put at ease right away. Lumi was always in my corner and guided me through every step of the process. I would recommend her and the firm to anyone seeking legal assistance for employment issues.
Mike Li
  • 5 / 5
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I was terminated without cause, and I consulted with a few other law firms before choosing Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. Upon reviewing my situation, Gurlal answered all my questions/concerns. I was hopeful for a good outcome and I did get it. I highly recommend this law firm.
  • 5 / 5
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After being terminated, I found the firm of Samfiru Tumarkin to be a good fit for me and my family. After negotiating back and forth, we arrived at a settlement that was more than the initial severance offered by the company.
Michael D'Amours
  • 5 / 5
Review from

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