In February, we wrote about a decision by the Federal Court of Appeal in Wilson v Atomic Energy Limited (see our earlier blog here.) That case concerned whether or not a dismissal without cause is by definition “unjust.” Federally regulated employees who have reached one year of service may argue that their termination is “unjust,” and may apply for reinstatement. The Federal Court of Appeal found that a without cause termination is not automatically unjust, rejecting a line of arbitral jurisprudence that had found the opposite.
The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that it granted the employee in Wilson leave to appeal. While a final decision is likely more than a year away, that decision has the potential to finally resolve one of the most vexing questions facing employers of non-unionized employees in the federal sector.