Skip to Content

Supreme Court of Canada to decide if dismissal without cause is automatically "unjust dismissal" under CLC

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it had granted leave to appeal in a case concerning whether dismissal without cause is automatically an "unjust dismissal" under the Canada Labour Code.

This issue had divided labour adjudicators appointed under the Canada Labour Code for years until the Federal Court of Canada ruled, definitively, in Atomic Energy of Canada Limited v. Wilson, 2013 FC 733, that dismissals were not automatically "unjust". That decision was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, 2015 FCA 17.

Canada's top court will now have the final word. This is that court's summary of the case:

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited dismissed Mr. Wilson without cause and paid him severance pay. He complained under s. 240 of the Canada Labour Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. L-2 that he was "unjustly dismissed." The labour adjudicator accepted Mr. Wilson's submission and concluded the applicant, dismissed without cause, had made out his complaint of unjust dismissal under the Code. The Federal Court allowed the application for judicial review and remitted the matter back to the adjudicator for decision. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Photo Credit: Robert Linsdell