You are not alone if you hate your job. It is a common feeling among workers in California and across the country. Among the many common reasons for dreading going to work are that your job is physically demanding, you get too little pay and no recognition for your hard work, or your boss is constantly on your back.
On the other hand, you may be one of those employees whose workplace environment is impossible to deal with. This may be due to a complete lack of respect throughout the company or very specific harassment directed only at you. If you feel your employer or coworkers have singled you out for mistreatment, you may have decided enough is enough.
You quit, but maybe you were fired
Perhaps you walked off the job or just didn’t show up for your shift. Maybe you are still employed, but you are considering quitting. What may be holding you back or causing you to regret your decision to quit is that by leaving voluntarily, you do not qualify for unemployment. This could create a serious hardship for your family. However, if you quit your job because of a particular incident of harassment or because the mistreatment became overwhelming, you may be the victim of constructive discharge.
Simply put, constructive discharge means you quit your job because you felt like you didn’t have a choice. It is a form of wrongful termination. Your employer made doing your job so difficult that you felt forced to leave. If you are the victim of constructive discharge, you may have cause for taking your employer to court to seek compensation and the right to file for unemployment benefits. Some factors to understand in a constructive discharge case include these:
- The mistreatment was based on discrimination or harassment, or your employer demoted you or cut your pay for reasons not related to your job performance.
- Your employer intended to make you quit to avoid having to fire you.
- It is wise to seek legal assistance or file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission immediately after you leave your job since you have a narrow window before the statute of limitations runs out.
- If you are a government employee, you may have different rules to follow, so obtaining legal advice is a good idea.
- You will have the burden of proving to the court that quitting your job was constructive discharge.
Proving your claim may involve speaking with witnesses, gathering confidential information and obtaining other forms of documentation. A skilled attorney will have the resources to help you build a case for defending your workplace rights.