In Extreme Situations, Think About Constructive Termination
As a state that follows the employment-at-will rule, Pennsylvania generally allows a person to quit a job for any reason or no reason, and an employer to fire a worker for any reason or no reason. The catch for employers is that it cannot terminate an employee for any of several prohibited reasons, such as race discrimination or retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim.
At McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C., clients sometimes need advice about a situation that falls into a gray area — can an employee at will quit a job made miserable through harassment, retaliation or discrimination, and then sue the employer for damages? If you need an answer to this question, contact our office in Harrisburg for a free consultation about your legal options.
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The law provides remedies for employees in this situation under the rule of constructive termination, also called constructive discharge. Instead of an actual firing, the facts might allow a judge to infer or construe termination based on the idea that the working environment for the resigning employee was so outrageous that no reasonable person would put up with it.
Quitting a job and claiming constructive discharge based on unpleasant job conditions is a high-risk strategy that can easily backfire on the resigning employee, who might then be left neither with wrongful termination claims nor the right to unemployment insurance. No matter how bad your working conditions might be, do not quit until you have considered the advice of an experienced employment law attorney.
The lawyers of McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C., will listen to your story and see whether the conditions of discrimination, abusive remarks, sexual harassment or unfair treatment that you work under would justify quitting and pursuing damages for constructive termination. In most cases, it makes sense to keep your job while we try to negotiate corrective measures or a severance package on your behalf. If the facts of your situation would give you a strong chance of winning a constructive termination claim, however, we will advise you accordingly. Contact us for a free initial consultation today.
Larry Weisberg is the contributing author to this content.