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What is a constructive discharge from employment?

People in California have many different types of jobs and each one has good parts and bad parts. People also have different relationships with different co-workers and supervisors. Sometimes people do not particularly like a supervisor and may think they are overly harsh or difficult. However, this does not necessarily mean that the work conditions are so bad that the person feels like they need to quit.

In other situations though the work environment created by the employers may actually rise to that level and workers is forced to quit their jobs. There are many reasons why a work environment may become so hostile. However, if the environment is created by the employer, even though the employer did not fire an employee, that employee may still be entitled to compensation as if it was a wrongful termination.

When this occurs it is known as a constructive discharge. However, not every employee who simply does not like their job can claim a constructive discharge. First the employee must prove that the work environment was so intolerable that a reasonable person in the same position would feel like they needed to quit. Second the employee must prove that the employer knew of the conduct and that the employer intended to create the hostile work environment. Usually the conduct by the employer must be an ongoing pattern of behavior not just a single act. However, if the single act is very egregious then it could constitute a constructive discharge.

Some people in California love their work environment and do not mind going to work each day. Others may hate going to work for one reason or another and seek other employment. However, certain people may have a claim for constructive discharge if their work environments are so bad that any reasonable person would feel the need to quit. These are very fact-specific and complicated cases though and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through it.

Source: www.employment.findlaw.com, "Constructive Dismissal and Wrongful Termination" accessed on March 8, 2018

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