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State wrongful discharge suit fails without actual firing

by on
in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

Under many federal employment laws, employees don’t have to be fired to sue for wrongful termination. Instead, they can claim constructive discharge, alleging they had no choice but to quit.

But that argument won’t fly for employees who try to sue their Illinois employers for common-law wrongful termination.

Recent case: Paula Farlin quit her job with The Library Store, claiming she had no choice but to do so. She had complained about discrimination on behalf of another employee and said her boss allegedly told her she was “through.”

The court said that wasn’t good enough to be taken as a literal discharge, and that constructive discharge doesn’t count as an actual discharge. Therefore, her wrongful termination claim lacked merit. (Farlin v. The Library Store, No. 08-CV-1194, CD IL, 2010)

Final note: This is good news, since damages are unlimited under common-law wrongful termination claims.

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