A recent judicial review decision of the Federal Court rejects the notion that section 240 of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) prohibits federally regulated employers from terminating non-union employees without cause. In Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Wilson (July 2, 2013), the employer terminated Mr. Wilson’s employment without cause and provided six months’ severance pay. Mr. Wilson complained of unjust dismissal and a labour adjudicator was appointed under the Code. The adjudicator concluded that the Code only permits dismissal for cause and that Mr. Wilson was entitled to the remedies set out therein.
In Our View
The decision in Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and Wilson is consistent with the adjudication decision in Tony Klein and Royal Canadian Mint (November, 2012) (see Adjudicator rejects non-union employees’ “right to the job” under Canada Labour Code) which also rejected the notion that federally regulated non-union employees have a “right to the job” under section 240 the Code. This growing body of jurisprudence is certainly positive for federally regulated employers and helps to clarify the scope of the protections afforded to non-union employees falling within federal jurisdiction.