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What is a constructive discharge?

As an employee, it is always possible that you may be terminated for unfair or discriminatory reasons, which is the basis of a traditional wrongful termination suit. However, depending on various elements of the case, you may be able to file a variation of a wrongful termination suit, even if you leave your job voluntarily. In legal terms, this is known as "constructive dismissal."

The underlying legal theory of a constructive dismissal implies that the worker who leaves his or her job does so because the working conditions were so untenable that the worker is left without any other reasonable choice. In order for the constructive dismissal to be recognized, there must be actions taken by the employer that are either expressly illegal, or else violate some terms of the employee's contract.

In the eyes of the law, the behavior of the employer may be discriminatory or abusive so that the employee's resignation from the position is viewed as equal to a wrongful termination. In simple terms, the conduct of the employer constitutes a wrongful termination by driving the employee to make that choice. New Jersey maintains separate standards from other states for what must be done to prove grounds for a constructive dismissal, so you should always consult with a knowledgable legal counsel to determine evaluate the strengths of your situation.

Constructive dismissal claims are not easy to prove, and require meticulous documentation. As in all legal matters, your chances of succeeding in your claim are greatly improved with the guidance and representation of an experienced and qualified attorney. With the right legal counsel, you can pursue justice against an abusive employer confidently, with the comfort of knowing that your rights will remain protected throughout the process and your claim will be heard fairly.

Source:, "Constructive Dismissal and Wrongful Termination," accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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