Constructive Discharge

News & Analysis as of

SCC Says Suspension with Pay can Amount to Constructive Dismissal

A non-unionized employee on an indefinite suspension with pay successfully claimed that he was constructively dismissed by his employer and was entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal. The case involved David Potter, an...more

"Employed" in Name Only – An Employer’s Duty to Provide Work

Will an employment contract be fundamentally changed if the employer stops assigning work? This was the question tackled by the Alberta Court of Appeal in its recent decision in Bonsma v Tesco Corporation, 2013 ABCA 367. ...more

SCC Revisits Constructive Dismissal in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission

On March 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) revisited and clarified the common law test for constructive dismissal in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission. ...more

Constructive Dismissal Claim Was Barred

In Colomar Mari v Reuters Ltd UKEAT/0539/13, the EAT considered whether an employee who had waited 18 months before resigning and accepted contractual sick pay during this period could claim constructive dismissal....more

Unpaid Company Director-Shareholder was an Employee

In Stack v Ajar-Tec Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 46, the Court of Appeal considered whether a director-shareholder, who performed work for a company without pay, was an employee....more

Virgin Islands Supreme Court Addresses Wrongful Discharge Act and Other Statutory Causes of Action

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands held that the Wrongful Discharge Act (WDA) provides a remedy not only when an individual is discharged or resigns under circumstances that are alleged to...more

California Employment Law Notes - January 2015

$300,000 In Punitive Damages Upheld In Sexual Harassment Case Despite Nominal Damages Award - State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, 2014 WL 6918577 (9th Cir. 2014) (en banc). Angela Aguilar who worked in a copper mine...more

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues. The custodian’s reassignment...more

Employment Client Alert: Punitive Damages Award in Title VII Sexual Harassment Case Does Not Violate Due Process

In State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, WL 6918577, published December 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an award of $300,000 in punitive damages did not violate due process even though no compensatory damages...more

Terminating Fixed-Term Contracts on Your Terms

The Court of Appeal of Alberta recently upheld a finding of constructive dismissal of an employee, who although paid to the end of his one year fixed-term contract, was not allowed to work during the final month of the...more

Employee's Fundamental Breach Was No Bar to Constructive Dismissal Claim

In Atkinson v Community Gateway Association UKEAT/0457/12, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether an employee in fundamental breach of his employment contract could still bring a constructive dismissal claim...more

A PIP of a Discharge Claim

If you put an employee on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”), can he resign, sue on some theory or other, and collect damages as though he had been discharged? Two employees in Texas tried it. The employees contended that...more

France: Courts Limit Claims for Constructive Dismissal

Constructive dismissal is, in effect, a resignation treated as a dismissal. The employee terminates the employment contract in response to an employer’s alleged breach and the Employment Tribunal then assesses the employer’s...more

France: What Should an Employer Do Where an Employee Seeks a Declaration of Constructive Dismissal without Resigning?

Under French law, there are various ways in which an employment contract may be terminated: resignation, dismissal, redundancy, amicable termination and so on. There is also a category of termination which is similar to a...more

Tenth Circuit Addresses Circuit Split Regarding Accrual of Constructive Discharge Claims

On July 28, 2014, the Tenth Circuit joined the Seventh and D.C. Circuits in holding that some discriminatory act leading to an employee's constructive discharge claim must have occurred within the limitations period. The...more

Resignation and Constructive Dismissal

In Chindove v William Morrisons Supermarket Plc UKEAT/0201/13/BA, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether an employee had lost the right to claim constructive dismissal because he had delayed in resigning....more

Fourth Circuit Rules that Employers Can be Liable for Third Party Harassment of Their Employees

In Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., 2014 WL 1678422 (4th Cir. April 29, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that an employer can be liable for third party harassment of its employees. The court...more

Employment Law Reporter - March 2014: Constructive Voluntary Quitting?

Many employers are familiar with the concept of constructive wrongful termination, a legal theory invoked by plaintiffs who claim that they were forced to quit as a result of intolerable and illegal working conditions. But...more

Constructively Quit Or Fired? — California Court Holds Employer Must Exhaust All Reasonable Alternatives

Kelley v. California Unemployment Ins. Appeals Board, B244098 (February 10, 2014): A California Court of Appeals recently upheld a trial court’s decision that an employee, who was fired for making what the employer considered...more

New Decision Examines the Scope of Constructive Discharge

On December 31, 2013, in Vasquez v. Franklin Management Real Estate Fund, Inc., the California Court of Appeal held that a maintenance technician, who alleged that he was constructively discharged in violation of public...more

McDonald's Restaurants of California, Inc. Settles EEOC Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal Agency Charged Muslim Trainer Was Constructively Discharged for Not Shaving Beard - FRESNO, Calif. - McDonald's Restaurants of California, Inc. will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a religious...more

Employee Relief Causes Employer Grief: The ability to perform employment-related duties is an integral part of an employment...

Recently, two employers who provided notice of termination, and at the same time relieved employees of their duties, were held instead to have at that time terminated those employees, which lead to financial consequences for...more

Supervisor’s Failure To Engage In Interactive Process With Disabled Employee May Convert Employee’s Resignation Into Constructive...

In a case recently decided under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—Suvada v. Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.—a federal district court in Chicago allowed a production clerk’s claim for constructive discharge against her...more

Internal Reorganizations And Constructive Dismissal: Minimizing Risk

While not making new law, the recent Divisional Court decision in Ghanny v. 498326 Ontario Limited 2013 ONSC 4057 provides a useful reminder of the steps an employer should take to minimize the risk of constructive dismissal...more

Does Demoting an Employee Equal Constructive Dismissal?

The British Columbia Supreme Court’s decision of Meyers v. Chevron Canada Limited, 2013 BCSC 420, demonstrates the uncertainty that can arise when predicting whether the conduct of an employer amounts to constructive...more

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