Constructive Discharge Claim

When discussing wrongful termination, what comes to mind first is that in which a public policy is violated. Basically, this form of adverse employment action involves an employee getting fired unlawfully for reasons that most people would find unacceptable both morally and ethically. To begin with, public policies are sets of laws and regulations that were firmly established for the benefit of the public at large. Also, terminating employees that is violation of public policy is an exemption from the at will employment doctrine, which is applied in almost all states in the U.S., including California. Common examples of this type of wrongful discharge involve those who were fired for exercising a legal right or duty, refusing to commit an illegal action, or reporting employers’ wrongful conduct.

However, wrongful termination in employment doesn’t only involve employers violating certain public policies in carrying such a difficult decision. There is also another type of illegal discharge wherein no “you’re fired” lines are said or “pink slips” are handed out. This is what is called a constructive discharge, which is a legal doctrine that makes employers liable for making their workplaces intolerable that a lot of their employees can’t take the discrimination and harassment anymore and are forced to quit their jobs.

The operative word “quit” in such an adverse situation in the workplace does not count as a resignation from one’s job position, but a form of termination. Why? Suppose a female employee is being singled out in the workplace by subjecting her to harassment. Because the harassment is severe or pervasive enough (or both), her working conditions worsened; thus giving her no other recourse but to quit from her job. The employer, to say the least, did nothing to address the hostile working environment in the workplace and instead tolerated it. The constructive termination is already in effect if the conduct of the employer towards the matter successfully forced her to resign.

Proving that the resignation of discriminated or harassed employees is a form of constructive discharge lies on how they present their lawsuits against their erring employers. To begin with, they need to prove that the conditions within the workplace are intolerable; that is, there should have been instances of constant shouting and cursing and intimidation. It should establish proof that the condition alone is enough for a reasonably employee to have resigned from his or her position. More importantly, they must prove that their erring employers must have created or known and permitted the hostile working environment.

Employees who believe they have been subjected to constructive discharge in California workplaces must be able to exercise their legal rights. This can be done by contacting an attorney who specializes in California constructive discharge lawsuits; that way, they may have better chances of obtaining damages from the erring employers. The lawyers are highly skilled when it comes to protecting the rights of employees who have been discriminated or harassed constantly in the workplace. Meanwhile, for those who haven’t quit from their jobs yet but are still experiencing a hostile working environment, they need to speak with the legal counsels as soon as possible. That way, they may know if their planned resignation is already constructive discharge or not.

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