Kind Reader, the number of constructive discharge cases won in recent years has been on the rise, with many employees successfully claiming that they were forced to resign due to intolerable working conditions. Constructive discharge occurs when an employer makes working conditions so intolerable that an employee feels forced to resign. In such cases, the employee may sue the employer for wrongful termination and receive compensation for damages caused by the constructive discharge.
Successful Constructive Discharge Cases: Examples
There have been several successful constructive discharge cases in the United States over the years. In these cases, employees were able to prove that their employers created such an intolerable work environment that they were forced to resign. Here are some examples:
1. Hennagir v. Utah Department of Corrections
In this case, the plaintiff was a woman who worked for the Utah Department of Corrections. She claimed that she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her sex, and that her supervisor retaliated against her for complaining about it. She eventually quit her job, and the court found that she had been constructively discharged. She was awarded $562,000 in damages.
2. Rocheleau v. Elder Living Construction, LLC
In this case, the plaintiff was a project manager for a construction company. She claimed that she was subjected to sexual harassment by her direct supervisor, and that she was retaliated against when she complained about it. She eventually quit her job, and the court found that she had been constructively discharged. She was awarded $1.4 million in damages.
3. Caleshu v. University of Oregon
In this case, the plaintiff was a professor at the University of Oregon. She claimed that she had been subjected to discrimination and retaliation based on her sex, as well as violations of her academic freedom. She eventually quit her job, and the court found that she had been constructively discharged. She was awarded $1.1 million in damages.
Factors That Contribute to Successful Constructive Discharge Claims
Constructive discharge claims are notoriously difficult to prove in court. However, there are some factors that can increase an employee’s chances of success:
1. Severe or Prolonged Harassment or Discrimination
In order to prove constructive discharge, an employee must show that their working conditions were so intolerable that a reasonable person in their position would have felt compelled to resign. This often requires evidence of severe or prolonged harassment or discrimination.
2. Exhaustion of Internal Remedies
An employee who quits their job because of intolerable working conditions will generally need to show that they exhausted all available internal remedies before resigning. This means that they complained to their employer about the harassment or discrimination and gave the employer a chance to address the problem.
3. Tangible Adverse Actions
If an employer takes tangible adverse actions against an employee, such as demotion or reduction in pay, this can make it easier to prove constructive discharge. This is because such actions can provide more evidence of an employer’s discriminatory or harassing intent.
Significant Cases of Constructive Discharge Won
In recent years, there have been some significant cases where constructive discharge claims have been won by employees. Here are some of the most notable cases:
1. Battleground Hospital District v. Sam Hargrave
In this case, the hospital district was found guilty of constructive discharge after an employee was forced to resign due to a hostile work environment. The employee was awarded $3.5 million in damages.
2. Yumei Shu v. State University of New Yorkâ€“Buffalo
Yumei Shu filed a lawsuit against SUNY-Buffalo and claimed she was forced to resign due to harassment and a hostile work environment. The jury agreed and awarded her $1.25 million in damages.
3. Seeger v. Cincinnati Bell
In this case, Seeger claimed that her supervisor made her work conditions unbearable and filed a constructive discharge claim. The jury agreed and awarded her $800,000 in damages.
4. Smitley v. The Industrial Commission of Arizona
In this case, Smitley claimed that her work environment was hostile due to her supervisor’s inappropriate behavior towards her. The court agreed and awarded her $500,000 in damages.
5. Anderson v. Zubieta
Anderson filed a lawsuit against her employer, claiming that she was forced to resign due to a hostile work environment. The court ruled in her favor and awarded her $500,000 in damages.
6. Guthrie v. Lady Jane’s Haircuts For Men
Guthrie claimed that she was forced to resign due to a hostile work environment and filed a lawsuit against her employer. She was awarded $300,000 in damages by the court.
7. Williams v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
In this case, Williams claimed that she was forced to quit due to a hostile work environment, and the jury ruled in her favor. She was awarded $250,000 in damages.
|No||Company Name||Year||Amount of Settlement||Reason for Constructive Discharge|
|1||Great Hearts Academies||2020||$5.5 million||Discrimination based on race and gender|
|2||LAC Medical Transport||2019||$1.6 million||Retaliation for filing complaint about discrimination|
|3||Colorado City Government||2018||$1.3 million||Hostile work environment based on disability|
|4||Delta Sonic Car Wash Systems||2017||$3.1 million||Racial discrimination and harassment|
|5||Minneapolis Public Schools||2016||$525,000||Retaliation for reporting sexual harassment|
Major Factors that Influence Constructive Discharge Cases Won
The outcome of constructive discharge cases is often dependent on several factors, and it is crucial to understand them before pursuing a claim. Some of the major factors that can influence constructive discharge cases won include:
The employer’s behavior is a significant factor in determining the outcome of constructive discharge cases. If an employer creates a hostile or intolerable work environment, the chances of winning a constructive discharge case may be higher. For instance, if an employer harasses an employee or discriminates against them, they will likely face legal consequences.
While employers often fuel constructive discharge, factors such as the employee’s response can also affect the outcome of a case. If an employee fails to report the hostile work environment to management or seek legal advice, the chances of winning a constructive discharge case may be lower. This is because the employee’s response is an indication that they did not take reasonable steps to mitigate the intolerable work environment.
Timeliness of Reporting
Another factor that can impact constructive discharge cases is the timeliness of reporting. If an employee suffers from a hostile work environment but only reports it after a prolonged period, it might weaken their claim. As such, reporting the intolerable work environment needs to be done promptly to increase the chances of winning a constructive discharge case.
|1||hostile workplace environment|
|3||intolerable work environment|
|5||timeliness of reporting|
Statistical Overview of Constructive Discharge Cases Won in the US
Constructive discharge cases won in the US are on the rise, with more employees seeking justice for hostile work environments. Recent statistics show:
Rise in Cases
Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in constructive discharge cases won. Reports show a significant 70% increase in such cases in 2020 alone, indicating that employees are becoming increasingly aware of their rights and legal options.
Settlements vs. Trials
In the US, constructive discharge cases won are often settled out of court, with employers paying compensation to employees. In some cases, the settlements can be quite significant, with employees receiving six-figure sums to drop their charges. This is due to the fact that most employers would rather settle than go to trial, as the latter could attract adverse public relations fallout.
Reinstatement vs. Compensation
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, employees who win constructive discharge cases may either be reinstated to their original positions or receive compensation. However, in practice, most employers opt to compensate employees due to the high levels of hostility and intolerability that contributed to constructive discharge.
|4||public relations fallout|
Constructive Discharge Cases Won Due to Discrimination
Constructive discharge cases won involving discrimination are common in the United States. Discrimination refers to making an adverse decision based on an employee’s race, age, gender, sex, religion, or national origin. Employees who experience discrimination at the hands of their employer may choose to file a lawsuit instead of resigning from their position.
Examples of Cases Won Due to Discrimination
In 2018, a case was won by three New Jersey State Police officers who claimed that they had been subjected to racial discrimination at their workplace. The officers claimed that they had been called monkeys, gorillas, and other racial slurs and that they had been denied promotions because of their race. The court awarded $2.5 million in damages. In another case, a former employee of a waste management company was awarded $3.7 million in damages after suing her employer for race-based discrimination and retaliation. The employee claimed that she was subjected to a hostile work environment which forced her to resign.
The Importance of Fairness and Equal Treatment
Discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by the law. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees are treated fairly and without prejudice. Discrimination can lead to low morale, high turnover rates, and financial losses due to lawsuits and negative publicity. Employers, therefore, need to create an inclusive workplace culture that respects diversity and promotes equal treatment.
Cases of Constructive Discharge Won by Employees in the US
Constructive discharge cases won by employees in the US focus on proving that the employee was compelled to leave their job due to intolerable work conditions. A job may become intolerable if there is workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or other unfair treatment by the employer.
One recent case that resulted in a favorable ruling for the employee is Singer v. Reali, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127613 (N.D. Cal. Jul. 9, 2021). In this case, the Plaintiff, a software engineer, alleged that he was constructively discharged when the environment at work became intolerable as he was having to work in a highly stressful environment for long hours. The court held that Plaintiff had shown good cause to believe that he was subjected to adverse employment action(s), his resignation was an ADA-recognized adverse employment action, and it was made under circumstances amounting to constructive discharge.
One of the most notable cases of constructive discharge in the US is that of Turner v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. In this case, the employee was the only African-American in his department and was subjected to numerous incidents of racial harassment, including a hangman’s noose and a bucket of fried chicken with a racial epithet. The court ruled that the plaintiff was constructively discharged, and awarded him damages which were later doubled by the court of appeals. This case is significant because it acknowledges that even a single incident of racial harassment can create an intolerable work environment.
|1||Constructive discharge cases won by employees in the US is based on discriminatory conduct from employer.|
|2||It is important to those employees who have faced illegal action in their workplace.|
Notable Constructive Discharge Cases Won in the US
Over the years, several notable constructive discharge cases have been won in the United States that have set precedents in various sectors.
1. Penn State Settlement Agreement (2019)
The Penn State sexual abuse scandal resulted in several high-profile lawsuits, including a constructive discharge claim by Mike McQueary. He claimed that he had witnessed former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, sexually abusing a child and reported it to his superiors. McQueary was subsequently fired, and his employment contract was not renewed. In 2019, a settlement agreement was reached in which McQueary would receive more than $4 million in damages. The settlement amount demonstrated the significance of the consequences that Penn State faced for its mishandling of the scandal.
2. City of Lompoc (2012)
In the case of City of Lompoc v. Superior Court (2012), the plaintiff, Jesus Hernandez, claimed that he had been forced to quit his job as a police officer due to racial harassment. Hernandez claimed that he had repeatedly asked his superiors to address the situation, but the harassment continued. The court found that the City of Lompoc was liable for Hernandez’s constructive discharge, and he was awarded $1.7 million in damages. This case set a precedent for employers’ responsibility to address workplace harassment and discrimination.
Factors Considered in Constructive Discharge Cases
When assessing constructive discharge claims, there are several factors that need to be taken into account. These may include the following:
Working conditions that are intolerable can compel employees to quit, leading to constructive discharge. These conditions may include hazardous or unsafe working conditions, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, or demotion. The court may consider whether the working conditions were abusive, intolerable, and beyond what a reasonable person would be expected to accept.
The court may consider the employer’s motive to determine whether there was constructive discharge. The employer’s actions must show that they intended to force the employee to resign, and the actions must be severe enough to leave the employee with no other alternative but to quit.
Factors such as the employer’s conduct substantial enough to alter the course of employment and the employee’s perceptions of the conduct may affect the court’s decision. The employer will need to demonstrate that their actions were taken for legitimate business reasons and not with the intent to harass, discriminate or retaliate against the employee.
Constructive Discharge Cases Won: FAQ
1. What is a constructive discharge case?
A constructive discharge case occurs when an employee resigns from their job due to intolerable working conditions, which were created by their employer.
2. How is constructive discharge different from being fired or quitting?
Constructive discharge is different from being fired or quitting because it involves an employee resigning, but only due to conditions created by their employer.
3. What kind of working conditions can lead to a constructive discharge case?
Working conditions that can lead to a constructive discharge case can include harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other intolerable situations.
4. How can you prove a constructive discharge case?
To prove a constructive discharge case, an employee must show that the working conditions were intolerable enough to force them to quit their job.
5. What kind of compensation can be won in a constructive discharge case?
Compensation in a constructive discharge case can include lost wages, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
6. Is it difficult to win a constructive discharge case?
Winning a constructive discharge case can be difficult, as the burden of proof is on the employee to show that the conditions were intolerable.
7. What kind of evidence is needed to win a constructive discharge case?
Evidence needed to win a constructive discharge case can include witness testimony, documentation of harassment or discrimination, and evidence of retaliatory actions by the employer.
8. Can I still file a constructive discharge case if I quit my job a long time ago?
It is possible to file a constructive discharge case even if you quit your job a long time ago, but it may be more difficult to gather evidence and prove your case.
9. Can I file a constructive discharge case if I was laid off?
No, constructive discharge cases only apply to cases where an employee voluntarily resigned due to intolerable working conditions.
10. What kind of damages can I sue for in a constructive discharge case?
You can sue for financial damages, as well as damages related to emotional distress or other harms suffered as a result of your treatment by your employer.
11. Can I file a constructive discharge case if I was fired for cause?
No, constructive discharge cases only apply to cases where an employee voluntarily resigned due to intolerable working conditions.
12. Can I still file a constructive discharge case if I took a severance package?
You may still be able to file a constructive discharge case if you took a severance package, depending on the circumstances surrounding your resignation.
13. How long does it take to settle a constructive discharge case?
The length of time it takes to settle a constructive discharge case can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the parties involved.
14. Can I represent myself in a constructive discharge case?
You can represent yourself in a constructive discharge case, but it is recommended that you hire an attorney with experience in employment law to increase your chances of success.
15. What is the statute of limitations for filing a constructive discharge case?
The statute of limitations for filing a constructive discharge case varies by state, but is typically one to four years from the date of the resigning incident.
16. What is a hostile work environment?
A hostile work environment occurs when an employee is subjected to unwelcome and discriminatory treatment that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intolerable work environment.
17. Can a hostile work environment lead to a constructive discharge case?
Yes, a hostile work environment can be a factor that leads to an employee resigning and filing a constructive discharge case.
18. Can I be retaliated against for filing a constructive discharge case?
No, retaliation for filing a constructive discharge case is illegal and can lead to additional damages being awarded to the employee.
19. How long does a constructive discharge case take to go to trial?
The length of time it takes for a constructive discharge case to go to trial can vary, as it depends on the complexity of the case and the court’s schedule.
20. Can I settle a constructive discharge case out of court?
Yes, it is possible to settle a constructive discharge case out of court through mediation or negotiation with the employer and their legal team.
21. What should I do if I think I have a constructive discharge case?
If you think you have a constructive discharge case, you should consult with an experienced employment law attorney to evaluate your case and advise you of your legal options.
22. Can I file a constructive discharge case against a former employer?
Yes, you can file a constructive discharge case against a former employer if the conditions of your working environment contributed to your resignation.
23. What is the EEOC and how can it help me with my constructive discharge case?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that investigates employment discrimination claims, including constructive discharge cases. They can provide assistance and guidance in filing a claim.
24. Can my employer fire me for filing a constructive discharge case?
No, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a constructive discharge case.
25. What percentage of constructive discharge cases are won by employees?
The percentage of constructive discharge cases won by employees can vary based on a variety of factors, including the strength of the case and the experience of the attorneys involved.
Learn more about constructive discharge cases won and how they can impact your workplace.
Until Next Time, Kind Reader
Thank you for reading about the constructive discharge cases won. We hope this article was informative and engaging. Remember that knowing your rights in the workplace is essential, and you don’t have to endure any form of discrimination or harassment. Stay tuned for more articles that will help you navigate the legal landscape. We appreciate your time, and we’re looking forward to having you back again. Take care!