Document Type

Arbitration Decision

Publication Date



Discharge, Procedure, Onus of Proof, Employee Grievance, Collective Agreement, Just Cause


Employee Grievance alleging unjust discharge.

Award (in part)

It is widely accepted by labour arbitration boards in Ontario that the onus of proving "just cause" is on the company in dismissal cases, where the collective agreement contains the usual provision and there is no practice to the contrary clearly established between the parties. See for example Re Int'l Ass'n of Machinists, Local 749, and Timken Roller Bearing Co. (1952), 4 L.A.C. 1262 (E.W. Cross, C.C.J., chairman); Re United Brewery Workers and Dow Kingsbeer Brewery Ltd. (1958), 8 L.A.C.198 (B. Laskin, chairman), and Re U.E.W., Local 504, and Canadian Westinghouse Co. Ltd. (1966), 17 L.A.C. 427 (E.E. Palmer, chairman). The last of these cases is a discipline case in which Professor Palmer decided that the rule in discharge cases, which puts the onus on the company, should be extended, and cites the decisions of other arbitrators agreeing with him. It is unnecessary for us to deal with this point, but the awards cited by Professor Palmer establish beyond doubt that the normal rule in Ontario is for the company to bear the onus of proving "just cause" in discharge cases.