A constructive dismissal, sometimes called a constructive discharge, is essentially a claim of wrongful termination with a twist. In cases like these an employee quit instead of being fired. This can seem like it is not a termination at all, but if the employee quit because the workplace was excessively hostile to them then their situation can be treated as a wrongful termination. It can be tough to prove a constructive dismissal case, but an Atlanta hostile work environment attorney from our firm can assist you.
What Do I Need to Show in a Constructive Dismissal Claim?
When you make a constructive dismissal claim you have to show that, while you did leave your job, it was not strictly voluntary due to the way you were treated. This means showing that there was a sustained pattern of behavior that created a hostile work environment. The behavior was clearly purposeful and designed to make it unpleasant to perform the duties of your job each day.
Making a formal complaint to your employer can also help you. Having such a complaint on the record shows that your employer knew that there was an issue and did nothing. Now they cannot claim ignorance about your working conditions.
Some things that a court might look at include:
- The nature of the employer’s conduct
- Whether or not an employer investigated any complaints coming from their employee
- Whether the employee was coerced into illegal activities
- If an employer was actively trying to get you to resign due to the workplace environment
Showing that your employer’s behavior was particularly grievous can help you with your claim. An employment discrimination lawyer can help you build your case.
What is the Reasonable Person Standard?
The work conditions obviously annoyed or disturbed you, but that is not what the court will really evaluate here. Instead, they apply a “reasonable person standard” to determine whether or not any reasonable person would find the working conditions to be unbearable. If they believe that most people would not find the environment irritating, then your resignation may be seen as a voluntary resignation.
What Happens if I Win the Case?
If you make your case, you could receive damages meant to compensate you for what you have experienced. You can be awarded:
- Lost wages
- Benefits you should have received, like unemployment benefits
- Compensation for pain and suffering
You may even be able to return to your job if that is what you are looking for.
Consulting With an Employment Lawyer
If you believe that you have a case, an employment discrimination lawyer from Ben Barrett Law may be able to assist you. Schedule a consultation with us and we would be happy to tell you more about your legal options and what you can do to make this right.