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No choice but to quit? Constructive discharge?

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  • No choice but to quit? Constructive discharge?

    1. My family and I deployed on a 1 year assignment for business development in Europe. Over the first 4 months it became apparent that the business opportunities and potential revenue is in the territory but the company infrastructure is not in place to handle the extra work. This point has been communicated extensively to management with firm agreement of the constraints but no plans for correction. In month 4, I was told that Sr. management nor my immediate supervisor supported the ($72M) business segment or my deployment for lack of return on investment, even considering clear demonstration of a remarkable organic and realizable 2011/2012 payout ($60M). The situation has continued to dissolve with an increasing gap between sales opportunity and company infrastructure. No support from sales management nor redirection has been provided after repeated appeals over the now 6 months of the deployment. The situation recently culminated in my (admittedly hung over) supervisor berating my overall performance and team work on a couch in the lobby of a hotel outside the hotel bar occupied by a large number of my business colleagues. The resulting argument was confused and heated but not disrespectful to my opinion. This is important as I have been accused of being disrespectful my management on a singular previous occasion. I immediately approached HR on this matter and relayed the entire situation – it is now 5 weeks past. The subsequent situation with my supervisor has become caustic, abusive and accusatory. The company is considering my termination. Additionally, I am being asked about the situation from my work colleagues after comments and emails from my supervisor. I am interested in your expertise if there is a case for constructive discharge or similar under texas law? I feel the business case and resulting work environment and are completely without hope and I have no choice but to quit. Thank you in advance for your time. js
    Last edited by JScott3456; 03-11-2011, 01:37 AM.

  • #2
    You realize that constructive discharge is not in and of itself illegal, right? That even if we agree (I don't, btw), it doesn't mean you have legal recourse?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      thank you. No I did not realize there was no legal recourse for constructive discharge. and I am interested in your (btw) view if you care to share? again, thank you.

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      • #4
        It's only illegal in the event that it constitutes the LEGAL definition of a hostile working environment, which means that you are being subjected to either sexual harassment or illegal harassment/discrimination under Title VII and related laws - i.e. race, religion, national origin and so on. Any other time you feel you have to quit, you can call it constructive discharge but it's not illegal and provides no legal recourse. Nothing you have posted suggests that an HWE exists in the legal sense; you just don't feel that you're being given the support and respect you are due. That's not going to provide you with any form of legal recourse, and it's not even likely to provide you with unemployment benefits. Quitting because your supervisor is being a jerk does not constitute a qualifying reason to collect UI, let alone a lawsuit.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          First time with this experience after 20yrs in the work force. Thank you for your time and candor. I sincerely appreceate the value of your expertise. js

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          • #6
            The only recourse you may have is to sue your employer for inducing you to accept the job if they made promises they knew all along they would not keep - such as providing the necessary infrastructure for you to succeed in your job. Bear in mind that the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that they knowingly made false promises. Your employer "over reaching" or having "pie in the sky" ideas that somehow they could support new business opportunities in Europe is not the same as knowingly making false committments to you.

            You'll need to discuss this with an attorney.

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            • #7
              Thank you Beth 3 for consideration of the topic your advise. They did not make such claims. js

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              • #8
                Then I guess you'll need to chalk this up to a learning experience (some good, some bad) and move onto a new career opportunity. Good luck to you.

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                • #9
                  http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-ho...nvironment.htm
                  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                  Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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                  • #10
                    Are you employed under US employment agreement, or host country?

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