Conditions intolerable? Employee may quit and sue

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

An employee who works in outrageous conditions can sometimes quit, claiming she had no choice, and then sue for her “discharge.” However, most of those suits don’t get very far.

Recent case: Kissia, a black attorney, worked on an hourly basis for a law firm. She complained that white attorneys worked better hours. Then she got into an argument with another employee and told HR the incident scared her. The firm offered to change Kissia’s schedule so the two wouldn’t encounter each other.

Kissia said that wasn’t good enough and quit. Then she sued, alleging she had been forced to quit because conditions were intolerable and that she had been forced out as punishment for her complaint.

The court dismissed the case, reasoning that there was nothing outrageous involved. (Simmons-Grant v. Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sulli­­van, No. 11-CIV-7706, SD NY, 2013)

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