In short, yes. An employer can dismiss an employee for violating a workplace policy. The employer must act in good faith when dismissing an employee and ensure the dismissal was fair. Further, it must be shown that the employer’s actions are reasonable and justified under the circumstances.
It is also important to consider whether the policy was known to the employee at the start of their employment, or if they were aware the policy existed. It can be difficult to demonstrate that an employee intentionally violated a workplace policy if they were never informed of the policy in the first place.
Lastly, the employer should consider whether dismissal has been used as a form of discipline or a consequence for non-compliance with workplace policies in the past. For example, if the employer has never dismissed an employee for violating a workplace policy, it may be deemed unreasonable to do so now. The employer should consider whether there are progressive disciplinary steps that should be taken prior to dismissal.
If an employer dismisses an employee in bad faith, or the dismissal was unreasonable under the circumstances, the employee may be entitled to damages.