What is a constructive discharge?

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2020 | Blog |

Sometimes work becomes so unbearable that you may have no choice but to quit. This can happen due to discrimination in the workplace or a hostile work environment, as a few examples. Rather than to continue employment at a place where you experience mental anguish and abuse, choosing a constructive discharge may be a better option to pursue legal restitution. 

If you have not heard of this term before, you may wonder what exactly a constructive discharge is, and how it can help you. 

The basics of constructive discharges

According to The Balance Careers’ website, a constructive discharge transpires when you must resign your job because your workplace is intolerable or harmful to you in some way. If you leave your workplace due to unbearable conditions, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer. Generally speaking, however, your workplace must breach federal laws that outlaw discrimination and sexual harassment for you to file a legitimate claim against your employer. If you resign over trivial matters, a constructive discharge will not apply in your situation. 

The statute of limitations

If you want to file a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination, you must do it with the allowable time frame. If you are a government employee, you only have 45 days from the day that you turn in your resignation notice to file a claim against your employer. Conversely, if you work in the private sector, you have a full six months to file the lawsuit. 

Additionally, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits while you search for a new job if your resignation is a constructive discharge.