Sometimes, employees get angry over some real or imagined slight and walk out. To make sure they really did quit and can’t claim constructive discharge, document your efforts to determine what happened.
Recent case: Kathleen Trela went to work for UPS, loading packages onto trucks. She later claimed her supervisor was mean to her and altered her package loading count. She, her supervisor and UPS managers held a meeting at which she accused the supervisor of altering her records. Trela stood up, announced “You win” to her supervisor and left the facility.
Managers called her three times to urge her to return, but she ignored the calls.
Then Trela sued for constructive discharge. The court tossed out her case, reasoning that Trela quit for no good reason, and that UPS did nothing to make her leave. (Trela v. United Parcel Service, No. 08-C-6195, ND IL, 2010)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be Wary of Firing Overpaid Employee
- Make sure post-firing documentation doesn't pile on extra reasons for termination
- Voluntarily quitting, retiring generally blocks litigation
- Make sure your promotion process gives all qualified candidates enough time to apply