“Cause” is the Same as “Just Cause” Thus Makes Termination Clause Illegal :

In Lamontangne v J.L Richards & Assocuates ( 2021 ONSC 2133) Justice Roger had a case where the employment contract had a termin ation provision which said “Employment may be terminated for cause at any time, without notice. ”

Under Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., 2020 ONCA 391 , the use of the term “just cause” instead of the defintion of wilful misconduct under the ESA has been found to invalidate the entire termination clause.

In this case the Defendant tried to distinguish thier clause by saying it only said ” cause” not “just cause “.

The Judge did not buy it. Here is what the Judge said :

[37] As a result, the “for cause” termination provision is illegal as it incorporates the common law “just cause” concept, which means that an employee could be terminated without any notice for conduct that is not “willful” or “bad on purpose”. This is an attempt to contract out of the minimum standards prescribed by the ESA and voids the entire clause. It does not matter what the employer might have done, the wording of the clause is determinative.

If you would like a copy of this case email me at barryfisher@rogers.com