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Not wrongful discharge: ‘You can’t fire me, I quit!’

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Good news: A court has cut off one path to a wrongful discharge case in North Carolina. While courts have allowed claims of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, such lawsuits actually require that the employer fire the employee rather than merely threaten to do so.

Recent case: Dennis resigned from his job with Diversified Clinical Services and then sued, alleging he had been discharged in violation of North Carolina public policy that prohibits discrimination based on disability. He claimed he had no choice but to resign after being told he would be fired.

The court said that wasn’t good enough under North Carolina law. He had to be fired to sue. (Littell v. Diversified Clinical Services, No. 1:10-CV-152, MD NC, 2013)

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