Constructive discharge due to hostile work place

I resign from my job last week. To be more realistic I feel as though i was forced to quit on my own. I felt oppressed,and intimated in many different ways . Under my old supervisor management five girls including myself have left. All because she is rude, nasty, aggressive, and controlling. She creates a hostile work place inputting fear into employees. And the big boss seems to enjoy all of this. She sides with the supervisor story, never showed interest on what I had to say, rather pre judged me. I felt as if her mind was set to attack me and use every word that came out of my mind to twist the truth.

Do I have a case in court? Could I be entitled for unemployment?
the girls that have left are willing to come forward as witnesses.

Please advise.. Thank you very much

2 answers  |  asked Jun 1, 2010 10:27 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (2)

Elisa Ungerman
While I don't have all the facts - the short answer is "no". There is nothing illegal about a generically "hostile work environment" - the court allows employers and bosses to be jerks and unfair as long as they are not acting illegally, that is: conduct based on statutorily protected classification or status. Further, even assuming the hostile work environment was illegal, the courts are adverse to employees "quitting and suing". You must have informed your employer and given it a chance to resolve the problem, and the environment must have been hostile to a reasonable person such that a reasonable person would have been compelled to quit - something difficult to do in this economy. Since you left your employment voluntarily, you are not entitled to unemployment as a general rule - again unless you can show that the hostility was illegal and you reported it, without anything being done. Check out the EDD website for more information on that.

posted by Elisa Ungerman  |  Jun 1, 2010 10:42 PM [EST]
Arkady Itkin

The standard for constructive discharge is quite high and whether your situation was egregious enough to be found "objectively intolerable" by court depends on the specific details of your employment.
As you may know, being rude and unfair is not illegal at workplace, and to be constructively discharged the conduct of the employer must be more severe than just that. For unemployment benefits determination, the standard is much lower, but again - the details make a difference.

What exactly was your manager doing that caused you to leave the workplace? What specifically are the worst things he has done and/or said that you believe caused you to leave?


Arkady Itkin

posted by Arkady Itkin  |  Jun 1, 2010 10:39 PM [EST]

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