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Is it wrongful termination if I can't take it anymore?

Everyone has a bad day at work once in a while. For some, the disappointments and frustrations come from the work itself, but sometimes, a person can experience one long nightmare if California employers or co-workers make the workplace hostile. Most people have a threshold for how much harassment, discrimination or retaliation they can take, but they may feel they have few choices. However, in some situations, quitting a job may be considered wrongful termination.

A worker who quits a job is usually ineligible for certain benefits, like unemployment and the right to sue for wrongful termination. However, if a person's working conditions are so brutal that they force him or her to quit, this may be considered constructive discharge. Sometimes an employer will harass an employee to the point where the worker quits, and this saves the employer from having to fire the worker and thus pay the required taxes for unemployment benefits.

Constructive discharge may be invoked after one incident or a pattern of several incidents. An employer who intends to seek compensation for wrongful termination based on constructive discharge should be aware that there is a statute of limitations between the time of the infraction and the filing of a claim. This deadline depends on the place of employment and the type of behavior that initiated the resignation.

Quitting a job because of mistreatment may be a difficult choice because it may leave a worker with few options for employment. Additionally, to seek compensation through a wrongful termination lawsuit, the employee must prove mistreatment and the steps he or she took to address and resolve the matter. A California attorney can certainly assist one in building a strong case for seeking redress.

Source:, "Constructive Discharge: Were You Forced to Quit?", Alison Doyle, Accessed on Nov. 18, 2017

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