Constructive Discharge

Were you forced to resign from your job due to a hostile work environment? Watch this video by Phoenix employment lawyer Quacy Smith to learn about constructive discharge, and your rights under the law. 

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We recently had a client visit us that explained and expressed to us that the working conditions at their job had become so difficult and terse that they felt like they had no choice but to quit. She began to ask if there was any potential remedy for her under the law because she felt like she had to quit her employment. To her surprise, my answer to her was yes. That is the term under employment law that we refer to as constructive discharge. Constructive discharge is when the work environment becomes so hostile, so intolerable, that a reasonable person of reasonable sensibilities under the same set of conditions would find that environment so objectionable that they would not continue in their pattern of employment. We call it constructive discharge because the employer has allowed something, tolerated something, or been in fact the actor in something that has caused that environment to become intolerable to the reasonable person.

If you have been placed in a situation where you feel like you’ve had no other choice but to quit, there could be some action under the law. If you are in that place and you have not quit yet, before you quit your job, contact an experienced employment lawyer because they can look at the law based on that environment and help guide you up the road concerning that. However, if you’re on the other side of that, you already made it, you couldn’t take anymore, you need to get on the phone and contact an experienced employment lawyer that can point you up the road and let you know what your rights are. Maybe there was some cause of action before that misstep by the employer. You’re quitting could be considered a constructive discharge.

There’s no one rule that’s a clear answer; it’s a case by case scenario as to whether or not you’re quitting your job would qualify as constructive discharge. There’s coverage for that under the law if that working environment has become so terse, so difficult, so intolerable that a reasonable person would no longer feel it wise to work there. You see a lot of that in sexual harassment cases, or cases where racial expletives have been used to the point where you’ve reported it several times and it’s continued. These are cases that fall within that framework of constructive discharge. You need to talk to a lawyer sooner than later because again, on the day that you quit, that’s when the clock starts ticking and the statute of limitations starts to run.

If you were forced to quit your job because your employer created a hostile work environment, you may be able to file a claim for discrimination. Contact our experienced Phoenix employment lawyers for a full understanding of your rights under the law. We offer free consultations and will fight to ensure your rights are protected.

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