Can I File A Wrongful Termination Suit If I Quit?
Antidiscrimination laws prohibit employers from treating workers differently because they possess certain protected characteristics or are a member of a protected group. Florida’s statute on unlawful employment practices makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on account of race, color, pregnancy, sex, national origin, disability, and many other traits. Though the law covers all types of workplace discrimination, one of the most extreme forms of misconduct is wrongful termination. If your employer violated the law by firing you, these statutes allow you to seek monetary damages and equitable relief.
From this description, you probably assume that a necessary component of a wrongful termination claim is getting fired and that you cannot take legal action if you quit. However, you still have rights if discrimination in the workplace forced you to resign. The legal concept is termed constructive discharge, and you may qualify to pursue your employer for misconduct. It is wise to consult with a West Palm Beach employment attorney about details, but an overview is informative.
Basics of Constructive Discharge: Employers know the risks of being sued if they terminate someone for discriminatory reasons. Instead, they might take the approach of getting an employee to quit by making the workplace intolerable due to discrimination. This tactic is also illegal, so the affected worker may be entitled to compensation from the forced separation. The employee’s act of leaving is constructively, effectively a wrongful termination caused by the employer.
There are three elements you must prove to succeed with a constructive discharge case.
- Your employer and/or co-workers created a hostile work environment because of outrageous, persistent, and/or intolerable conduct.
- The workplace environment was so unbearable that you had no choice but to resign.
- The hostile conduct was motivated by discriminatory or other unlawful reasons.
Damages for Employees: The point with a constructive discharge case is that the employee involuntarily resigns to escape the discrimination, while the objective of damages is to make the employee whole from the employer’s unlawful acts. Therefore, an aggrieved worker is entitled to the forms of relief that would have been available had he or she been fired instead of resigning.
There are multiple types of relief in constructive discharge cases, including:
Monetary Damages: This the financial compensation to cover your losses after being forced to quit. Back pay, front pay, and interest are examples, and you may be able to obtain amounts for the value of employee benefits.
Equitable Remedies: Money is not always sufficient to make you whole, but the court can order your employer to take certain acts. You could be reinstated to your position, promoted, or gain other advantages depending on the case.
Our Florida Wrongful Termination Attorneys Can Explain Details
Constructive discharge on account of workplace discrimination may be actionable, and our team at Sconzo Law Office is ready to assist with the legal process. For more information, please contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. Individuals in Palm Beach County can call 561-279-6114 or fill out an online form to reach our offices.