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What is a Constructive Discharge?Client-Focused & Passionate Representation

What is a Constructive Discharge?


Is it possible to file a wrongful discrimination claim after you make the decision to quit your job? In some instances, an employer takes actions or engages in behaviors that make an employee’s job so intolerable that they decide to quit. Depending on the specific facts of the case and the details surrounding the intolerable workplace, an employee’s design to resign or quit their job may be what is known as a “constructive discharge,” and the employee could potentially be eligible to seek a remedy in the same manner as if they were wrongfully terminated. Our Palm Beach Gardens employment law attorneys can provide you with more information about constructive discharges, and we can speak with you today about your case if you believe you were constructively discharged and may be able to seek back pay or another remedy.

Defining Constructive Discharge 

How does the law define a constructive discharge? According to Florida case law:

“The general rule is that if the employer deliberately makes an employee’s working condition so intolerable that the employee is forced into involuntary resignation, then the employer has encompassed a constructive discharge and is as liable for any illegal conduct involved therein as if it had formally discharged the aggrieved employee.”

That court, in the case Carlson v. WPLG/TV-10 (1996), further clarified that, generally speaking, for a constructive discharge to have occurred, the judge or jury should find that the employee’s “working conditions would have been so difficult or unpleasant that a reasonable person in the employee’s shoes would have felt compelled to resign.” In most cases where there is a constructive discharge that is actionable, the employer’s behavior or actions that created the intolerable working environment occurred in violation of state or federal laws designed to prohibit discrimination.

Was I Constructively Discharged? 

If you recently resigned from your job due to what you believe was an intolerable working environment due to your employer’s actions, you may be wondering if you were constructively discharged. It is important to know that you do not need to prove — and there is no need for any evidence that shows — that your employer actually wanted you to quit your job or intended for you to quit your job. Evidence of the intolerable working conditions is sufficient.

What kind of evidence can show intolerable working conditions? Examples may include, for instance, evidence of:

  • Sexual harassment in the workplace, including either quid pro quo harassment or a hostile work environment;
  • Harassment on the basis of age, disability, race, religion, sex, or another protected class; or
  • Retaliation for reporting a workplace violation, whistleblowing, or participating in an investigation.

Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Wrongful Termination Lawyer 

If your employer made your workplace intolerable for you., as a result of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or any other related working conditions, it is essential to seek legal advice because you could ultimately have a wrongful termination claim. One of the experienced Palm Beach Gardens wrongful termination attorneys at Sconzo Law Office can talk with you today to learn more about your case and to determine whether you have grounds for filing a claim. You could be entitled to seek lost wages as if you had been wrongfully terminated. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to find out more about your options.



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