Practical Considerations for Canada Labour Code Dismissals

  • December 16, 2019
  • Jennifer Emmans, Emmans Law Professional Corporation

When dismissing an employee, Canada Labour Code (“Code”) governed employers face different legal considerations than provincially regulated employers. In particular, section 240 of the Code provides that any non-managerial employee who has been employed for at least 12 months and is dismissed may bring a CLC complaint to consider whether the dismissal was unjust.[1] Unlike civil courts, the Labour Board has the power to award any remedy that is equitable, including reinstatement and back pay.[2] These awards can often be much larger or more onerous for employers than in non-Code contexts.

This article provides a brief overview as to when a Labour Board Adjudicator may find a dismissal to be just or unjust, as well as practical tips for employers. 

Without Cause Dismissals: Unjust  

Code-governed, non-managerial employees who have been employed for at least 12 months cannot be lawfully dismissed on a without cause basis pursuant to the 2016 Supreme Court of Canada decision of Wilson v. Atomic Energy[3].