Constructive Discharge Attorneys in Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Berardino, and Ventura Counties

What Does a Constructive Discharge Attorney Do?

A constructive discharge lawyer is a lawyer who represents employees in cases where they have resigned due to intolerable working conditions. This situation, known as constructive discharge, often involves circumstances where the employee felt they had no other choice but to quit their job due to the severity of the conditions.

Lawyers for Employees Who Were Forced to Quit

In California, it is illegal for an employer to create a workplace that is so intolerable that an employee is forced to resign, quit, or retire instead of having to endure intolerable working conditions. In those situations, the employee may have a claim for constructive discharge even if the employee is technically the one to leave the employment relationship by resigning, quitting, or retiring. In California, this is known as constructive termination.

Although the employee may say, “I quit,” the employment relationship is actually severed by the employer’s acts. As a result, a constructive discharge is legally regarded as a firing by the employer and not a resignation by the employee.

Helping Constructively Terminated Employees Get Justice

Of course, the law does not give every employee who quits his or her job the right to sue their employer for constructive termination. To establish a constructive discharge claim, an employee must prove that “the employer either intentionally created or knowingly permitted working conditions that were so intolerable or aggravated at the time of the employee’s resignation that a reasonable employer would realize that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would be compelled to resign.”

In deciding if a reasonable employee would feel compelled to resign, courts will look at certain factors; for example: a demotion; a reduction in salary; a reduction in job responsibilities; reassignment to menial or degrading work; reassignment to work under a younger or more junior supervisor; badgering, harassment or humiliation by the employer calculated to encourage the employee to resign; offers of early retirement or continued employment on terms less favorable than the employee’s former status.

We are constructive discharge attorneys in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, and Riverside. If you suspect that you were forced to quit your job, contact us for a consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Constructive Discharge

Instead of continuing to suffer harassment, I chose to quit my job; do I have any rights? 

Yes. Depending on the circumstances, if you were forced to resign or quit instead of continuing to endure unlawful harassment, your resignation was not “voluntary,” and you may have a claim against your employer for constructive discharge. Contact us to speak with constructive discharge attorneys in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Orange, Oxnard, and Riverside to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.

I chose to retire rather than continue to suffer age discrimination; do I have rights? 

Yes, even if you retired, depending on the circumstances you may have rights. If your resignation was because you experienced intolerable age discrimination, then under California’s law, you may have a constructive discharge claim.

The easiest way to determine if you have a case is to contact a constructive discharge lawyer.  They will analyze the facts of your case quickly and advise you regarding your options. Our award-winning constructive discharge attorneys in Los Angeles, Oxnard, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, and Bakersfield offer complimentary case evaluations.

My manager yells and screams at me all the time and/or makes unfair comments, and I quit rather than suffer more of my supervisor’s abuse; do I have rights?

Depending on the circumstances, you may have a constructive discharge claim, especially if the threats were not corrected or fixed by management and were continuous and intolerable. Our constructive discharge attorneys in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Bernardino, Orange, Oxnard, and Riverside can help you determine if you have a case.

Featured Constructive Discharge Case

Turner v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1238

An employee sued for constructive discharge in violation of public policy and breach of contract. The Superior Court, granted summary judgment for the employer on breach of contract and public policy claims. The employee appealed. The Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Supreme Court granted review, superseding opinion of the Court of Appeal. In this seminal case the Supreme Court recognized and discussed at length the constructive discharge doctrine. 

Turner worked at ABI’s Los Angeles brewery as an industrial relations manager for approximately six years, until his voluntary resignation in 1981. In January 1984, Turner returned to work for ABI at its wholesale operations division in Riverside. Turner’s initial position at the Riverside division was “branch off-premises coordinator” in the sales department. As such, he was responsible for coordinating sales activities with retailers who sold ABI products off-sale, i.e., for consumption away from the retailers’ premises. Turner’s immediate supervisor was William Schmitt. Schmitt’s supervisor was George Liakos. In May 1985, Turner was reassigned to the position of “assistant supervisor route sales.” He retained the same salary and level of responsibility. In his new position, Turner no longer reported to Schmitt. In January 1986, Schmitt was transferred to St. Louis, Missouri. With one exception, Turner received overall “good” ratings on written performance evaluations between June 1984 and November 1987. (He received a “needs improvement” rating in December 1984.) On his December 28, 1988, evaluation, however, Turner received a “needs improvement” rating. On that day, Turner met with ABI supervisors who, citing specific incidents, alleged that Turner’s job performance had deteriorated. Turner denied that charge and criticized the supervisors’ decision to wait until the meeting to complain of the particular incidents, rather than discussing them at the time of their occurrence. On January 3, 1989, Turner tendered a letter of resignation to ABI, effective February 1, 1989. After his departure, Turner filed suit against ABI and certain individuals, alleging causes of action for age discrimination, constructive wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, breach of contract, and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The Supreme Court’s opinion included an instructive discussion regarding constructive terminations in the employment context:  An employment relationships are generally terminated by resignation or discharge. An employee voluntarily severs the relationship by resignation; the employer does so by actual discharge. Actual discharge carries significant legal consequences for employers, including possible liability for wrongful discharge. In an attempt to avoid liability, an employer may refrain from actually firing an employee, preferring instead to engage in conduct causing him or her to quit. The doctrine of constructive discharge addresses such employer-attempted “end runs” around wrongful discharge and other claims requiring employer-initiated terminations of employment. Constructive discharge occurs when the employer’s conduct effectively forces an employee to resign. Although the employee may say, “I quit,” the employment relationship is actually severed involuntarily by the employer’s acts, against the employee’s will. As a result, a constructive discharge is legally regarded as a firing rather than a resignation. An employee who is forced to resign due to actions and conditions so intolerable or aggravated at the time of his resignation that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would have resigned, and whose employer had actual or constructive knowledge of the intolerable actions and conditions and of their impact upon the employee and could have remedied the situation, but did not, is constructively discharged.  An employee cannot simply “quit and sue,” claiming he or she was constructively discharged. The conditions giving rise to the resignation must be sufficiently extraordinary and egregious to overcome the normal motivation of a competent, diligent, and reasonable employee to remain on the job to earn a livelihood and to serve his or her employer. The proper focus is on whether the resignation was coerced, not whether it was simply one rational option for the employee. In order to amount to a constructive discharge, adverse working conditions must be unusually “aggravated” or amount to a “continuous pattern” before the situation will be deemed intolerable. In general, “[s]ingle, trivial, or isolated acts of [misconduct] are insufficient” to support a constructive discharge claim. A constructive discharge is the practical and legal equivalent of a dismissal—the employee’s resignation must be employer-coerced, not caused by the voluntary action of the employee or by conditions or matters beyond the employer’s reasonable control.

Contact Us When You Need a Constructive Discharge Attorney

Call us today at (818) 509-9975 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary case evaluation. We have extensive experience in all aspects of employment law, including constructive discharge cases.

Areas Served

The litigation and trial attorneys of the Akopyan Law Firm, A.P.C. provide services throughout Southern California including but not limited to  Adelanto, Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Aliso Viejo, Altadena, Anaheim, Apple Valley, Arcadia, Arleta, Atwater Village, Azuza, Bakersfield, Baldwin Park, Banning, Beaumont, Bell, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Blythe, Boyle Heights, Brea, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Calabasas, Calimesa, Camarillo, Canoga Park, Canyon Lake, Carson, Cathedral City, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Chino Hills, Chino, Claremont, Coachella, Colton, Compton, Costa Mesa, Corona, Covina, Culver City, Cypress, Dana Point, Desert Hot Springs, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, East Los Angeles, Eastvale, Echo Park, El Monte, El Segundo, El Sereno, Encino, Fontana, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Gardena, Garden Grove, Glassell Park, Glendale, Glendora, Granada Hills, Hacienda Heights, Hawthorne, Hemet, Hesperia, Highland Park, Highland, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Huntington Beach, Huntington Park, Indian Wells, Indio, Inglewood, Irvine, Jurupa Valley, La Canada Flintridge, La-Crescenta Montrose, La Habra, La Mirada, La Palma, La Puente, La Quinta, La Verne, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lakewood, Lake Balboa, Lake Elsinore, Lake Forest, Lancaster, Lawndale, Lincoln Heights, Loma Linda, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, Mar Vista, Maywood, Menifee, Mission Hills, Mission Viejo, Monrovia, Montclair, Montebello, Monterey Park, Moorpark, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Newbury Park, Newhall, Newport Beach, Norco, North Hills, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Ontario, Orange, Oxnard, Pacific Palisades, Pacoima, Palos Verdes, Palmdale, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Panorama City, Paramount, Pasadena, Perris, Pico Rivera, Placentia, Pomona, Porter Ranch, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Mirage, Rancho Santa Margarita, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Rialto, Riverside, Rosemead, Rowland Heights, San Bernardino, San Clemente, San Dimas, San Gabriel, San Fernando, San Jacinto, San Juan Capistrano, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sawtelle, Seal Beach, Shadow Hills, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Simi Valley, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, South Whittier, Stanton, Studio City, Sun Valley, Sunland, Sylmar, Tarzana, Temecula, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Torrance, Tujunga, Tustin, Twentynine Palms, Upland, Valencia, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, Ventura, Victorville, Walnut, West Covina, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Puente Valley, Westchester, Westminster, Westwood, Whittier, Wildomar, Winnetka, Woodland Hills, Yorba Linda