Not everyone likes his or her job and for many different reasons. However, if the workplace conditions are the reason for your distain and you leave, you may not have actually quit; there are times when workplace conditions cause terminations, or constructive discharge.
What is constructive discharge?
Constructive discharge arises when work conditions are so bad, the employee ends up leaving but in reality, has been forced to quit creating a termination by the employer. The test is object and looks at whether a reasonable person in similar circumstances and conditions of employment would have no reasonable option but to quit. Understanding whether you have quit or been fired is important because certain benefits are given to those who have been fired while they are not given to those who quit like:
When have I been constructively discharged?The court will look at the circumstances of the employment including the working conditions, interactions with others, the work given to the employee compared to others, etc. Further, the objective test stated above will be applied and the outcome must be that the employee was treated so poorly, he or she was basically forced out the door. This bar is really high to prove and the courts have found that reduced pay, transfers, reassigning of shifts, demotions, and other incidents of mistreatment are not enough to prove constructive discharge. If this is found, termination in fact occurred even if the employee stated, “I quit.”
What to do if you feel you have been constructively discharged?
The best option is to speak with a lawyer and he or she will analyze your specific case at hand. If you have already left your position, there are statute of limitations in place and the clock is ticking so it is important to be proactive about your options, especially if you wish to file a suit.
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[Colores v. Bd. Of Trs., 105 Cal. App, 4th 1293, 130 Cal. Rptr. 2d 347 (2003).
 Turner v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1238, 1244.
 Turner v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1238, 1244–1245.