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  • Writer's pictureCorey Hall

What is constructive termination?

As an employee in California, you have the right to work in a safe and respectful environment free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. However, in some cases, an employer's actions may make it impossible for you to continue working for them. This is known as constructive termination, and it is illegal under California law.



What is Constructive Termination?


Constructive termination occurs when an employer engages in actions or behavior that make it impossible for an employee to continue working for them. Although the employee has not been formally fired, they are effectively forced to quit due to the hostile work environment created by the employer.


Some examples of actions that may constitute constructive termination include:


Persistent harassment or discrimination based on protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation.


Reducing an employee's pay, hours, or responsibilities without a valid reason.


Creating a work environment that is dangerous or intolerable, such as by allowing sexual harassment or physical threats to occur.


Refusing to provide reasonable accommodations for a disability or medical condition.


In each case, the employer's actions make it clear that they do not want the employee to continue working for them, even if they have not explicitly fired the employee.



What are Your Rights Against Constructive Termination?


If you believe you have been the victim of constructive termination in Orange County, it's essential to understand your rights and the steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are some of the most important steps to take:


Document the situation


Keep a record of any incidents or actions that make you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at work. This documentation will be useful if you need to file a complaint or lawsuit later. Document any conversations with a supervisor or HR. If you have a verbal discussion, follow up with an email and repeat the conversation to establish a written account.


Report the situation to HR or your supervisor


If your employer has an HR department, report the situation to them as soon as possible. They should investigate your complaint and take steps to address the issue. If your employer does not have an HR department, then should discuss this with your supervisor or your supervisor’s supervisor. You can also refer to your employee handbook for the procedure to report an issue such as this.


Contact an attorney


If your employer fails to act or if you believe your situation is particularly severe, you may want to contact an attorney who specializes in employment law, such as our Orange County and Sacramento based employment law firm. We can advise you on your legal options and help you file a complaint or lawsuit if necessary.

File a complaint with the EEOC or CRD


If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). Our firm can assist with this process. This process is important to grant you the right to sue your employer for constructive termination.


By taking these steps, you can protect your rights and hold your employer accountable for their actions. Constructive termination is illegal in California, and you have the right to work in a safe and respectful environment. If you believe you’ve been the victim of this type of harassment, protect yourself and your livelihood.


Contact an attorney


If you are experiencing constructive termination in Orange County, it's important to know that you have rights and options. You don’t have to tolerate a hostile work environment and have the right to act against your employer if they are engaging in illegal behavior.


Remember to document the situation, report it to HR, and contact an attorney. Our employment law firm can assist you in dealing with constructive termination in Orange County and Sacramento.


By filling out the contact form.

Or by calling us now at:

(949) 997-0828

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