Some bosses are just awful people — but you can manage to put up with their abrasive personalities and demands and get your work done anyhow. However, if your boss seemingly went out of his or her way to make your life specifically miserable — to the point that you felt like you had no choice but to quit — you may have actually been the victim of a constructive discharge.
What’s a constructive discharge?
A constructive discharge is a type of wrongful termination. You may have said, “I quit,” but the reality is that your hand was forced, making your resignation a thinly-veiled — and illegal — termination.
For a constructive discharge to occur, you must have been exposed to unbearable working conditions. It could be a sudden event that provokes you into quitting or it could be a culmination of many events. Generally speaking, however, you must have felt like you were being harassed and suspect that your boss was trying to force you to quit — all to avoid firing you and paying you unemployment or to get around an illegal dismissal due to some form of discrimination.
For example, imagine that you are the only employee in the office who happens to be Muslim. You have a degree in engineering and have led numerous advanced projects within your company. You new boss, however, seems to dislike you — and you have good reason to believe it is because you are Muslim.
Suddenly, you’re sent out of important meetings at critical moments and told to fetch coffee for everybody. Later, you’re criticized for not being up to speed on the project. Your boss then transfers you to a lower-level position with a cut in pay and your attempts to discuss the issue with him are regarded as “insubordination.” You ultimately put in your notice and are asked to leave.
The odds are good — and you know it — that your new boss got exactly what he wants. But how do you fight back?
If something similar has happened to you, the first thing you need to do is contact our office regarding a constructive discharge and wrongful termination claim. Let’s see how we may be able to help you.