Understanding Constructive Discharge

Posted on the March 19th, 2012 under Legal Guides by admin

Many employees are unhappy in their current jobs. When work situations get so bad however that an employee feels that they are forced to quit, it may be a case of constructive discharge. This is the term used to describe the technical termination of a worker by making it simply impossible for the worker to remain. In other words, when an employee quits because he or she feels that this is the only thing left to do and because the workplace conditions have become so unbearable, it may be considered constructive discharge and employers can be sued for wrongful termination in cases that can be proven.

Laws regarding constructive discharge are a bit complicated and regulations may depend on the specific state that the employer and employee are in. Generally, in order to prove constructive discharge, the employee must show that there were recent drastic changes made in the workplace that forced their resignation. The condition that was changed must have happened relatively close in time to the resignation of the employee so that it appears the employee quit because of that change.

Employees will also need to show that anyone in his or her position would have felt the need to resign because working conditions were completely intolerable. It also should be shown that the employer allowed this drastic change to happen even though he or she knew that the change would force the employee to quit his or her position. Normally it takes more than just one incident of change. For instance, a change in the work day schedule would not constitute a valid reason for an employee to resign.

Things that could be construed as constructive discharge include hostility toward and employee that the employee feels is intolerable, consistent sexual harassment, employment discrimination that the employee feels is intolerable and retaliation by the employer against an employee who reports a wrongdoing. A humiliating demotion can also be shown as constructive discharge but only when there is not a valid reason to show why the employee was demoted.

If you feel that you were forced to resign from your job because you simply could not handle the way you were being treated any longer and you feel that perhaps your employer purposely forced you out, you may be able to take legal action. You will need to contact an attorney with experience in employment law. An attorney who deals with these cases on a regular basis will be able to help you to determine if constructive discharge is present and what you need to do.

Taking your former employer to court could award you compensation for the suffering that you have endured and for loss of income from the time that you resigned your position. Again, it is often difficult to prove these cases and an experienced attorney in this field will be critical in helping you to seek and receive legal satisfaction. A labor attorney can help you to file the appropriate papers if you were forced out of your job and help you to seek the right amount of compensation.

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