In Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd v Wilson (Wilson), the Federal Court held for the first time that an employer may terminate an employee without cause, so long as the employer provides notice or severance pay. Wilson overturned decades of jurisprudence regarding unjust dismissal and interpretation of the Canada Labour Code. This paper critically reviews Wilson and the subsequent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal upholding this ruling. This paper ultimately argues the Wilson decision is wrong because it frustrates the purpose of the Canada Labour Code and unfairly shifts the burden of proof from the employer to the employee.

This article is helpful for readers seeking to learn more about:

  • Canada Labour Code, unjust dismissal, notice, termination notice, severance, labour law, employment law, employee, without cause, just cause, layoff, layoffs, reinstatement, arbitration, law arbitration

Topics in this article include:

  • Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, adjudicators, frustration, frustrate, evidentiary onus, arbitrariness, procedural fairness, procedural considerations, burden of proof

Key authorities cited in this article include:

  • Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd v Wilson
  • Champagne v Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
  • Sigloy v DHL Express (Canada) Ltd
  • Wright v Nisga’a Lisims Government
  • Taypotat v Mucospetung First Nation