Discriminatory employers can’t simply fire a worker because he or she is a member of a specific race or religion. For this reason, they could make working conditions so intolerable that the employee decides to quit. When this happens, it’s called “constructive dismissal” – and just like firing someone for discriminatory reasons is unlawful, constructive dismissal is also a violation of state and federal employment laws.
The basic premise of a constructive dismissal case is that the employer indirectly committed wrongful termination because life had become so difficult that the employee did not have any reasonable alternative. To prove that a wrongful dismissal has occurred, former employees need to show the following:
— The unreasonableness of the working condition
The working condition was unusually averse to the point that any reasonable worker in the same position would have been compelled to quit. This element is key to the success of the employee’s case, and the employee must show that the conditions were continual, reoccurring and egregious enough to overcome a normal motivation to remain employed.
— The employer’s intention and/or knowledge
The employer intended to force the employee to quit and/or the employer knew that the intolerable employment conditions existed. Although the former could be hard to prove in many cases, in the case of an employee’s difficult or unusual working situations, the latter is sometimes obvious.
Were you essentially forced to quit your job because of dangerous, unreasonable or extremely uncomfortable working conditions? Our law office is available to review the facts of your case to determine your legal options.