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What is constructive discharge?

Some working environments are so abysmal that an employee would rather quit than put up with them. This is called constructive discharge and employees that resigned because of a toxic workplace may be able to file a wrongful termination claim as a result. The Balance explains constructive discharge and what you can do if it happens to you.

There are numerous reasons why constructive discharges occur. It could be a matter of workplace harassment or discrimination, a worker’s pay may be cut for no reason, or conditions may be deemed unsafe. In some cases, an employer will actually treat a worker badly just to get the person to quit. If any of these issues occur, it will be up to the employee to prove the infractions.

That’s why it’s important to report incidents to management, even if they’re not willing to take action. When legal action is taken against your employer documentation of complaints will show that you tried to rectify the issue but to no avail. A worker that resigned soon after an incident occurred also has a better chance of making a successful claim.

You might also consider filing a wrongful termination claim. Even though you resigned, if work conditions are found to be poor the law may consider you wrongfully terminated, which gives you legal recourse. This is true even if your employment is considered at-will, which means an employer can fire you without specifying a reason. An attorney’s assistance is crucial in this case, as he or she will take the proper steps to have the claim presented in the best possible light.

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