constructive termination
USA
constructive discharge, Also known as a constructive termination.
Employee resignation due to working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee's position would have felt compelled to resign.
Constructive discharge is recognized and treated as an involuntary termination under various federal and state laws and can, for example, form the basis of the following claims:
• An adverse employment action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (see Practice Note, Discrimination: Overview: Title VII (www.practicallaw.com/3-503-3975)).
• An unfair labor practice under the National Labor Relations Act (see Practice Note, Employee Rights and Unfair Labor Practices Under the National Labor Relations Act: What is an Unfair Labor Practice (www.practicallaw.com/1-502-5354)).
• Breach of contract for termination without cause in a for-cause employment relationship.
The standard for proving constructive discharge and what constitutes intolerable working conditions varies based on state law and the underlying claim. However, the employee must generally meet a rigorous standard. Examples of conduct that might constitute intolerable working conditions include:
• A unjustified and drastic pay cut or reduction in responsibilities.
• A humiliating demotion or transfer to a less desirable position.
• A harassing or hostile atmosphere.
• Encouraging an employee to resign under the threat of termination.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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