Under limited circumstances, an employee can claim that harassment or discrimination at work made her life so miserable that she had no choice but to quit. She can then walk out and sue as if she had been fired. It’s what’s known as constructive discharge.
But what if it turns out that the employee found a job before quitting? That can sink her claim. That’s why you may want to check for telltale job-hunting signs after a sudden resignation, such as a recently prepared résumé or an Internet search history that includes job sites.
Recent case: Krishna McCollins sold Physicians Weight Loss Center franchises for a decade before quitting over alleged intolerable sexual harassment. But it turned out that she sought and accepted a job before quitting. That sank her constructive discharge claim. (McCollins v. Health Management Group, No. 1:10-CV-1193, ND OH, 2011)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Be patient and scrupulously fair when dealing with litigious employee who has complained
- Draw line on harassing behavior, even against top company execs
- Chapman U. sex bias settlement pays, promotes
- When accused harasser says he was harassed, weigh everyone's credibility--and motive for lying