Employers don’t like employees that “stir the pot.” In other words, having to deal with whistleblowers or employees who don’t go along with a company’s way of doing things might be classified as troublemakers. On the other hand, an employer also knows they must handle that employee with kid gloves because there are laws to protect employees.
According to federal laws, an employee cannot fire you for being a whistleblower or for making claims regarding discrimination, sexual harassment, employment safety or environmental violations. They also cannot fire you for being pregnant or needing family or medical leave. All of the issues mentioned are reasons some employers might want to get rid of an employee, but their hands are tied according to the law. However, some employers, managers or supervisors might try other methods of getting rid of you.
Since they can’t fire you, the next best option is to get you to quit, and since they can’t ask you to quit, they may retaliate or try to make the workplace intolerable for you. If you are forced to quit on your own due to having to work in intolerable work conditions, this is called “constructive termination.”
Constructive termination can be considered the same as being fired in a court of law. However, you must be able to show that the working environment was hostile or uncomfortable enough that any reasonable employee would have problems working there. You must also show that the employer was aware of or had knowledge that the working conditions were intolerable. In other words, you can’t just quit and claim you were forced out without valid reasons to back up your resignation. The time period between the intolerable work conditions or activity and your resignation are also important in proving constructive termination.
If you feel you have been forced to resign, been retaliated against or have been wrongfully terminated, we can help you. It is often hard to find another job when your past reference has been a negative experience. Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your case and help you regain your reputation and be fairly compensated for your loss of income.