When you quit your job you destroy you case.  Why?  Because your damages have been caused by the fact that you quit rather than the fact that you were fired.  Normally, quitting your job is the worst thing you can do, if you hope to sue your employer for wrongdoing. 

But what if your working conditions are so intolerable that no reasonable person could possibly tolerate the working conditions?  Can you quit your job in this situation.  Well, it depends.

The situation we are talking about is called a "constructive discharge".  Historically, the concept of constructive discharge arose in the 1960s, when union busting employers made working conditions unbearable for workers who supported unions.  A constructive discharge occurs when your work conditions are so intolerable that any reasonable employee would resign.  

In a January 2019 case, Karagozian v. USV Optical, Inc., the Appellate Court for the State of Connecticut defined two required elements in order to prove a constructive discharge case.  The Court made clear that in order to win your case for constructive discharge you must prove not only that your working conditions were so intolerable that a reasonable person would feel compelled to resign, you must also prove that the employer intended to make its working conditions so intolerable you were forced to resign. 

This means that you must prove the subjective intent of your employer.  Essentially, you must prove that they wanted to force you out, and chose to do it by making your working conditions intolerable-so intolerable that a reasonable person would quit.  

This is hard to prove.  The bottom line is this, before you quit your job, be sure you know that by doing so you will probably destroy your case unless you can prove that your employer was actually trying to force you out by making your workplace intolerable. 

If you believe that the conditions are your workplace are so intolerable that you must quit your position, before you do get some advice from a Connecticut employment law attorney.  While you might have a case for a constructive discharge, these cases are hard to win based on the case discussed above.  Get advice before you make your decision.  Contact the Groton, Connecticut employment lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C. at 860-445-8521.  Our office is at 100 Fort Hill Road, Ste.2, Groton, Connecticut 06340, and we handle cases all over Connecticut.  

Peter J. Bartinik, Jr.
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Civil Trial Attorney, Practicing Law in Connecticut
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