Some employees think they can walk out on their jobs as soon as it looks like their employer is going to violate their rights. Then they sue, arguing constructive discharge. But courts expect employees to give their employers a chance to right wrongs.
Recent case: When Kimberli Trierweiler became pregnant, she wasn’t yet eligible for. Her supervisor warned her about her absences, and got angry when she said she would be off for a week on doctor’s orders.
Meanwhile, HR discussed ways to accommodate Trierweiler’s expected absences. But she never came back. Instead she sued, alleging pregnancy discrimination.
The court threw out her case, concluding she couldn’t show she was constructively discharged and pointing out that the company wasn’t planning to fire her. (Trierweiler v. Wells Fargo, No. 10-1343, 8th Cir., 2011)
- Don't let abusive staff use disability as excuse; you can fire for behavior
- Play the customer to unearth problems
- Use hotline to receive employee complaints, prove when litigation clock started ticking
- Convey policy changes by paper, not e-mail
- Don't delay, even for one day! Assault allegations demand response ASAP