A person’s job may be more than just a means to pay their monthly expenses. Many people see their job as a reflection of their knowledge, skills and contributions to their industry. That’s why it can often be devastating if an employee is forced to resign.
A forced resignation, also called constructive dismissal in some situations, occurs when an employer makes working conditions so intolerable that an employee quits. An employee must demonstrate that the employer’s conditions were extraordinary or egregious, based on an objective reasonable employee standard and not on the employee’s individual view of the circumstances.
For example, if an employer threatens violence against an employee as a means to have the employee resign, that may be an example of a forced resignation. Usually, the intolerable conditions occur over time and are not isolated incidents.
Notifying the employer
In making a determination about whether a forced resignation occurred, the court may consider whether the employee informed management or a person in a position of authority so that the employer has an opportunity to correct the situation.
If the court finds that there was a forced resignation, it may be treated as a termination initiated by the employer instead of a resignation initiated by the employee. This may preserve the employee’s rights to unemployment compensation, recommendations, severance payments, health insurance coverage and other benefits.
If an employee was forced to resign, there are resources available to help them address the situation and pursue the benefits they may be entitled to.