Constructive Termination
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Constructive Termination

Constructive termination, also known as constructive discharge, occurs when an employer makes working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would feel compelled to quit. In California, constructive termination is considered a form of wrongful termination and is illegal under state law.

To establish a claim for constructive termination in California, an employee must prove that their employer acted in a way that would lead a reasonable person to quit. This can include actions such as reducing pay or hours, changing job responsibilities, demoting the employee, or subjecting the employee to harassment or discrimination. The employee must also show that the employer’s actions were deliberate and done with the intention of forcing the employee to quit.

If an employee is able to prove constructive termination, they may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages. It is important to note that the employee has the burden of proving that their working conditions were so intolerable that a reasonable person would feel compelled to quit.

Under California law, employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe and healthy work environment and to treat their employees fairly and with respect. Employers who engage in conduct that would lead a reasonable person to quit can be held liable for wrongful termination, even if the employee technically resigned. It is important for employees who believe they have been constructively terminated to seek legal advice and document any actions taken by their employer that contributed to their decision to quit.