Constructive dismissal is an employment law
term describing passive force techniques used by an employer in an effort to make an employee resign from his position. Experiencing this type of unspoken rejection is illegal and downright terrifying. It’s may also be really difficult to prove in court
While a constructive dismissal may present itself in many forms, there are typically five main strategies that a company can use to make the unwelcome employee’s life miserable. Going even further, an employer may also use a single tactic or multiple combinations of the actions described below.
1. Taking Away Responsibilities
At first, a reduction in responsibility may not seem very obvious. Most employees will assume that it must be a “slow month.” However, there comes a point in time when the worker’s observant eye turns to noticing major gaps in the work day and being passed over for projects that were once readily assigned to him in the past.
2. Adding Too Many Responsibilities
Conversely, the employer may decide to overload the employee with so much work and activity outside the scope of the original employment agreement that one’s head cannot stay above water. As you can probably guess, there isn’t a pay increase associated with an increase in workload either. Usually, these individuals are terminated on the grounds that he can’t perform work duties adequately.
3. Violating Constitutional Rights
There are certain employment laws that a company cannot violate; constitutional amendments are among them. A person cannot be discriminated against based on age, race, religion, or sex. Unfortunately, many disguised dismissals are borne from such prejudice. For example, the target employee is a smoker. Suddenly, the campus is smoke-free. The targeted employee is fired when caught smoking in his car.
Bullying an employee in the office to make someone leave is as childish as it sounds. It happens every day, and some managers are clever enough to leave no trace behind. Office bullying comes in the form of put-downs, shouting, laughing obnoxiously at an innocent mistake, sexual harassment, physical violence, and social media stalking.
5. Passing The “Three-Prong” Test
One way to determine if your employment law rights have been violated is to conduct this essential test
by asking yourself three questions: A) Has there been discriminatory or retaliatory behavior exhibited towards you? B) Was the treatment so severe that it would be considered intolerable by a reasonable person? C) Did the intolerable treatment force you to resign? If you answered ‘yes’ to the preceding questions, you may be eligible to initiate a lawsuit against your former employer on the grounds of experiencing a constructive discharge.
As you can see, constructive dismissal is a very real and problematic violation of a person’s rights. A career should feel safe, enjoyable, and empowering for everyone; after all, you give so much of your life to the organization that you deserve fair pay and treatment for a fair day’s work. That’s good faith and dealing in a seemingly unjust world.