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Employee must be open to compromise before quitting

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employees can sometimes quit and sue for constructive discharge if their employer made work life intolerable. That doesn’t mean an employee can quit anytime she faces a difficult situation. She has to let her employer try to resolve the problem first.

Recent case: Angela returned from maternity leave and was still breast-feeding. She immediately demanded a milk-expression room. None was available, so her supervisor suggested she temporarily use the wellness room.

Angela refused because she feared her milk would be contaminated. She resigned, claiming that she had endured great physical pain because she couldn’t express milk when necessary. She sued, alleging constructive discharge.

The court tossed out the case, reasoning Angela should have worked with her supervisor and accepted the compromise offered. (Ames v. Nationwide, No. 2-3780, 8th Cir., 2014)

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