Constructive Termination

Sacramento Constructive Termination Lawyer

Employers Cannot Force You to Quit

“Retaliation” is a buzz word at many offices because employers and their legal teams know that they can pay dearly for punishing employees for lawful practices and whistleblowing. Retaliation can lead to fines and exorbitant amounts of damages in both private civil lawsuits and agency actions. However, some employers do not want to continue to employ workers who have violated their trust by reporting the company’s misconduct. Therefore, these employers creatively attempt to get rid of the employee by forcing the employee to quit. On the books, the termination looks clean. However, by coercing the employee, the company has engaged in constructive termination.

If you were forced to quit against your will for doing the right thing, you need to seek the advice and assistance of a talented, dedicated, and experienced Sacramento employment termination lawyer. Contact Gay Carroll-Haring online today.

What Are Lawful Grounds for Termination in California?

California is an “at-will” employment state, meaning either the employee or employer can end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause. At-will employment is not associated with an employment contract that dictates an end date.

Termination without cause means you were laid off due to no fault of your own. Financial strain or an obsolete position are the two most common reasons for termination without cause. Termination with cause occurs when you do something that violates company policy, causing you to be fired. These causes includes sexual harassment, committing a crime, failing to perform up to standard, and insubordination.

What Are Unlawful Grounds for Termination in California?

At-will employment does not give your employer permission to fire you on the basis of a protected ground or for doing legally protected activity, such as whistleblowing. If your company fires you for one of these reasons, this is known as retaliation.

  • Unlawful grounds for termination include:
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality or ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Refusing to succumb to advances or agree to sex

What Is Constructive Termination?

Because employers are terrified of lawsuits, they try to hide their motives by coercing the employee to voluntarily quit. If an employer has forced you to leave your job, resign, reduce your hours, or relocate on the basis of a protected ground or activity, the company has constructively terminated you and cannot do this.

Sometimes, forcing you to quit can be done legally and may even be in your best interests. If you violate company policy, your employer may do you a favor by allowing you to resign in lieu of being fired so that you will have an easier time of finding subsequent employment. However, penalizing someone for a characteristic they cannot control, for refusing sexual advances, or for reporting discrimination or harassment is illegal.

To prove constructive termination, you should gather any evidence and documents you can, such as e-mails, voicemails, notes, reports, and witnesses that can help you establish that you were forced to quit for unlawful reasons.

For an initial phone conference, call the Law Offices of Gay Carroll-Haring now at