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Lots of employees have thoughts of leaving their employers for lots of different reasons.  Although some employees leave for fairly standard reasons like a better job opportunity or a family move out of state.  Other reasons may involve legal implications, including constructive discharge.

What Is Constructive Discharge?

In essence, constructive discharge means that an employee, rather than being terminated, was forced to resign. This may be because of deception, coercion and/or unbearable treatment by the employer. In other words, the employee had to quit because any other reasonable person in their shoes would have done the same thing.  Constructive discharge comes into play when an employee faces discrimination or retaliation in the workplace and is considering whether to quit their employment.  Typically, when an employee quits their job, they are not entitled to unemployment benefits, and they may lose the ability to seek damages for the discriminatory actions the experienced at the behest of their employer.  As such, an employee that quits or resigns and attempts to seek unemployment compensation or damages through a employment discrimination lawsuit would be required to establish that they are constructively discharged.

Claiming Constructive Discharge

The following reasons may allow you to claim constructive discharge if you resigned or quit your employment:

1)  Your boss or supervisor engaged in sexual harassment;

2)   Your co-worker or colleague continued to engage in sexual harassment after your employer failed to take any action to protect you after you complained to management about the sexual harassment;

3)   You continued to experience discrimination or a hostile work environment at work based on your age, sex, religion, national origin, disability or other protected class even after you complained to management about the discrimination;

4)   Your employer retaliated (i.e. discipline, demote, change of duties, etc.) against you after you made a good faith complaint about discrimination or a whistleblower complaint regarding illegal activities in the workplace.

5)    Your employer retaliated (i.e. discipline, demote, change of duties, etc.) against you for taking FMLA leave, seeking a reasonable accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act or because you filed a workers’ compensation claim for a workplace injury;

Contact A Lawyer

Should your situation fall within one of these scenarios, you should contact McDonald & Kloth, LLC prior to resigning your employment.  The lawyers at McDonald & Kloth, LLC can walk you through your legal rights and the steps you should take to protect those rights prior to your resignation.