Constructive Discharge

San Bernardino Constructive Discharge Attorneys, Representing Those Who Have Been Unlawfully Forced to Leave Their Jobs

A Constructive Dismissal (also known as a Constructive Discharge, or a Constructive Termination) occurs where an employee terminates their employment in response to unbearable or abusive working conditions.

In essence, Constructive Discharge is the means an employer will use to avoid having to tell you, “your fired”.

Frequently, an employer will deliberately make the workplace so unpleasant, that an employee is forced to either endure the unendurable, or quit their job. Even though the employee has not actually been fired, the unbearable or abusive treatment by their employer is sufficient to allow the employee to believe that they have in fact been discharged. Whether or not the employer’s actions were intended to offend an employee, or merely had that effect, makes no difference.

Employee being harassed at work

SANFORD A. KASSEL, A Professional Law Corporation: Southern California Employment Law Attorneys. 909.884.6451


For instance, an employer may consistently leave, as a screen-saver, sexually suggestive images on his or her office computer. An employee who has to regularly enter that office space, sees the photos and expresses an objection. The employer responds that, “this is my office, and I can have whatever I want on my computer screen, deal with it”. The employee is then faced with having to either endure highly objectionable conditions in the workplace, or quit their job.  This would be a Constructive Discharge situation, and grounds for a Wrongful Termination claim.

You Need to Seek the Advice of Legal Counsel

It is essential, that you have the counsel of a knowledgeable and trusted Employment Law Attorney to determine if you have been wrongfully forced from your job. Contact the law office of SANFORD A. KASSEL, A Professional Law Corporation, at 909.884.6451. Our skilled attorneys specialize in Wrongful Termination claims involving Constructive Termination. Our legal team has the necessary experience and resources to protect your legal rights, and build the most convincing case on your behalf.


Understanding the Elements of a Constructive Dismissal – Wrongful Termination

Generally, when claiming breach of an employment contract or a Wrongful Termination, one of the elements an employee must prove, is that the employer terminated the employee, rather than the employee voluntarily resigning his or her position. However, a Wrongful Termination of employment may be shown by either “Actual” or “Constructive” Dismissal.

A Constructive Termination arises when an employer engages in a manner that effectively requires the employee to quit or retire. Under these circumstances the employment relationship is actually severed by the employer’s action, even if the employee states “I quit.”

A Constructive Discharge of employment legally refers to the firing of an employee by an employer rather than a voluntary resignation or retirement.


A Constructive Termination standing alone is not a Wrongful Termination. It simply moves a resignation into a firing.  


To establish a Wrongful Discharge of employment claim, the employee must also evidence that the Constructive Discharge breached an express or implied employment contract, or that it violated a statutory requirement or public policy.

An employee cannot just “quit and sue.” A Constructive Discharge, must give rise to working conditions so intolerable that any reasonable employee would resign, rather than endure such conditions; this standard is measured objectively. The determination is based on whether a reasonable person in the employee’s shoes, facing the same “claimed” intolerable working conditions, would have felt compelled to resign.


Examples of intolerable work conditions, which may amount to a Constructive Termination include:

  • Continuous harassment of an employee due to sexual orientation
  • A supervisor continuously “yelling and screaming,” unfair and harsh criticism, or threats to fire an employee, uncorrected by management, may constitute objectively intolerable working conditions
  • Being the subject of constant bullying, ridicule, or harmful gossip by co-workers, uncorrected by management
  • A supervisor purposely giving too heavy a workload, to frustrate and undermine employee’s ability to perform their duties
  • An employers extended campaign to get the employee fired by inventing termination documentation, frequent organization of job duties, and demanding the process of unlawful orders


Contact a Highly-Trained and Trusted Southern California Wrongful Termination Attorney

You don’t have to go it alone. Before quitting a job, it is helpful to discuss your untenable work-related issue with a qualified Employment Attorney. Know your legal rights in the workplace. Contact the law office of SANFORD A. KASSEL, A Professional Law Corporation, at 909.884.6451, to speak with one of our highly-trained and trusted Wrongful Termination Attorneys. There is no cost to you for the initial consultation. We can help you sort through the issues of this difficult situation, and advise you what the best course of action will be.


LEARN MORE: “What to do if you are being harassed by your employer, or you work in a hostile environment”…


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