Paid suspension is hardly ‘intolerable’

An employee can quit and sue for constructive discharge if the working conditions are truly intolerable. Being suspended with pay pending an investigation doesn’t qualify.

Recent case: Troy, an Itasca County sheriff’s deputy, complained several times over the years about how the department was run. About a year before he quit, he had allowed a squad car to be used during the filming of a movie, despite being denied permission to do so by his boss. When the department eventually found out, it placed Troy on a paid suspension pending investigation.

He quit and sued, alleging he had been constructively discharged and retaliated against.

The court tossed out Troy’s claim, reasoning that a paid suspension wasn’t an adverse action. It didn’t make working conditions so intolerable he had to quit. (Ugrich v. Itasca County, DC MN, 2017)