Were You Forced To Quit Your Job In California?

Updated: Apr 21

What Are The Legal Options For Victims Of Hostile Work Environments

Under California Employment Law, Wrongful Termination Claims can also include constructive dismissal, also known as constructive discharge. When a worker or an employee feels like they have no choice but to resign or quit their job due to intolerable working environments, this is known as constructive dismissal.


Although, the courts will treat the employee as though they were fired if the employee can establish that the working circumstances were deplorable and that they had no other choice.

That said, here's a quick guide on constructive dismissal, which our prescreened California Employment Attorneys frequently handle.


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What Constitutes a Successful Constructive Discharge Claim?

An employee must be able to demonstrate the following under current California law:

  • Working circumstances were so bad that any sane individual in their situation would have considered leaving.

  • The employer had to be aware of the deplorable working conditions.

  • It would have been a forced resignation.

Essentially, the complaint must show that the working circumstances were so bad that any reasonable person in their position would consider quitting and that the employer was aware of the matter but chose to do nothing about it.

The court looks for a pattern of similar activity in the great majority of cases. One-time incidences are rarely regarded as serious enough to warrant a claim unless the employee can show that the previous occurrence would lead to more.
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One-time incidents such as violence, harassment, or pressuring an employee to commit a crime are usually accepted by the courts. If such extreme circumstances don't exist, you'll need to show or prove a trend of poor working conditions.


If you need some help with putting together a case and obtaining evidence on your own, you may engage an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles to assist you in getting all of the evidence you'll need to win your Employment Law case.

What Doesn't Qualify As A "Constructive Discharge" In California?

Every case may not count as constructive discharge. For example, being dissatisfied at work isn't enough; you must feel compelled to leave due to the working conditions. It's also critical that you notify your manager about your situation. If you don't, your claim will be immediately rejected.

A nasty supervisor, a difficult day at work, or receiving an unpleasant phone call from a customer can all contribute to poor working conditions. If these are one-time incidents, however, they are not considered constructive dismissal.

Consult an Employment Lawyer in Los Angeles to assist you in evaluating your present working conditions and determine if it qualifies for a constructive dismissal claim.

Do You Have To Quit Your Job For It To Be A Constructive Dismissal?

Some people are apprehensive about leaving their jobs in this way. They may be concerned about getting a new job or losing their current one. If you are still employed in the same position, you will not be able to submit a constructive dismissal claim.

Staying in a toxic job environment for a long period does not restrict you from bringing an employment claim in the same way that staying with the company does.

California's courts are well aware that they require a source of income and are willing to put up with terrible conditions in order to survive.

Before departing, the employee should also try to remedy the issue. The easiest way to resolve this is to stay and file complaints.


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If you've opted to stay at your job for a little longer in the hopes of resolving problems or saving enough money to get by while unemployed, keep track of all occurrences and complaints. If the situation worsens or an unsolved problem produces additional problems, you should register a new complaint.