Constructive discharge, also known as constructive dismissal, occurs when an employer purposely makes an employee’s work environment intolerable, thereby forcing a resignation. Constructive discharge can be very difficult for an employee to prove.
It is usually brought based on a breach of the implied trust within an employment contract. Contacting an employment lawyer in Long Beach can help you to find out whether you have a case or not.
What it takes to prove constructive discharge
To prove constructive discharge, the employee must show that any reasonable person who wanted to continue working would have felt forced to resign due to the hostile work environment. The employee must also show that the employer wanted to cause the resignation or could reasonably foresee that the employee would resign.
The employee must also show that the employer was given the opportunity to fix the situation but did not do so. This obviously requires considerably more proof than just that the environment was unpleasant.
Why bring a constructive discharge claim?
If employees voluntarily resign, they do not receive severance packages, dismissal compensation or unemployment benefits. If employees can prove constructive discharge, they are able to claim these benefits and still sue the company.
A successful constructive discharge case converts a resignation from voluntary to involuntary. It shows that the employee was forced to resign by illegal or wrongful means. An LB worker’s compensation lawyer will understand all the implications of voluntary or involuntary resignation.
A constructive dismissal case is more likely to be successful when an employee has exhausted all internal complaint procedures first. This proves that all possible avenues for internally addressing the situation did not help to remedy it.
Establishing employer knowledge will typically require providing evidence that you filed complaints with all relevant managerial staff. If you never told the employer about the situation, you’re unlikely to have a successful claim.
Breaching the law
Generally, employers are not under any duty to treat staff fairly or provide a stress-free environment. A key to proving constructive dismissal is therefore being able to show unlawful conduct, such as discrimination or sexual harassment. If an employer does not take the necessary steps to accommodate a disabled employee, this could be considered as creating a hostile environment, even if it was unintentional.
In a situation where an employer retaliates against a whistleblower, this could justify a constructive dismissal claim. In some circumstances, one severe act of sexual assault could be sufficient proof or proof could be a series of incidents over time.
Contact an attorney for a free consultation
Only a small percentage of people meet the requirements to bring a successful constructive discharge lawsuit. You don’t want to resign first and then find out your case doesn’t meet the requirements. Contact Belal Hamideh Law, a workers compensation law firm, on (562) 526-1224 and an experienced attorney will give you a free consultation and offer helpful advice. If you meet the requirements, the attorney will make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.