What Is Constructive Dismissal?
Posted May 12th, 2023.
When you get fired from a job and it was clear that there was discrimination in play, you can make a claim of wrongful termination. If you quit your job voluntarily, you normally do not have the ability to make such a claim. There is an exception though. When your work environment is purposefully made unbearable so that you quit, that can be referred to as constructive dismissal and you may have legal recourse. A Cherry Hill employment law attorney can help you learn more about your options.
What Can Be Considered a Constructive Dismissal?
If an employer decides to fire an employee for discriminatory reasons, that employee may have the right to sue for wrongful termination. So some employers think that they have found a legal loophole. They just have to make the employee want to quit. An employee that quits cannot sue for wrongful termination because they were not terminated, and as an added bonus they would not qualify for unemployment benefits.
Well, employment law in this country has caught up and found ways to make sure that employers cannot get away with this kind of discrimination. If they made a workplace unbearable and essentially forced a worker to quit, that is just as bad as firing them. A worker can now claim that this was a constructive dismissal and they could pursue damages.
What Do I Need to Show in a Constructive Dismissal Claim?
It can be difficult to win a constructive dismissal case. It can be easy for other people looking in from the outside to think things like “That work environment did not seem that bad.” or “The employer never had a chance to fix things.”
This is why it is so important to document everything that you can. It can be harder to deny a constructive dismissal charge if you have evidence that:
- The employer engaged in or allowed repeated harassment that made your workplace hostile
- The employer was informed of hostile workplace conditions and did nothing
- The behavior began at a point that makes it clear that it was retaliatory action for something that you did, like filing a complaint
- Your hours and/or pay were cut for no discernible reason
Being able to show any of these or all of the above things can help you make your case. If you can show that your quitting was a constructive dismissal, you could be eligible to pursue a wrongful termination suit. You could be entitled to damages and benefits that were denied to you originally, like unemployment.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you believe that you were discriminated against in the workplace and that a hostile environment was created specifically to get you to resign, you need to learn more about your rights and legal options. Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark S. Guralnick today.