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How can an employee handle a constructive dismissal?

Unfortunately, sometimes an employee may face discriminatory or retaliatory treatment that culminates in a dismissal. But such acts are illegal and employees have rights they can act upon should the need arise.

There are federal and state laws that afford workers protections against wrongful termination. Most employers are cognizant of the relevant statutes and try to stay clear of committing any obvious violations. However, an employer may resort to more subtle methods if they want to get rid of an employee without risking accusations of committing a wrongful termination.

One thing a vengeful employer may attempt to do is get an employee to resign of his or her own accord. To do this, the employer may create a work environment that is so intolerable that a worker may be driven to quit. Such a situation is called a "constructive dismissal."

If you work in California and believe that you were on the receiving end of a constructive dismissal, you have the right to issue a legal response. However, in order to make a claim, you must be able to prove a couple of things. First, you need to demonstrate that the work environment was so egregiously adverse that any reasonable employee would be compelled to quit. And second, you have to show that your employer was aware of the conditions or was actively working to force your resignation.

If an employer simply dismisses you, then the cards are on the table and you can act accordingly. But a constructive dismissal is far more insidious because you are being painted into a corner where you must either quit your job or endure unbearable conditions.

If your employer created an untenable work environment that forced you to quit your job or has you strongly considering quitting your job, a California employment law attorney may be able to help you form an effective response. Employers should be held accountable for their actions and you may be eligible for monetary compensation for the duress you have endured.

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