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Constructive Discharge


An attempt by an employer to force an employee to resign (rather than terminate the employee) by making the employee's working conditions highly disagreeable. Constructive discharge claims are considered a "workplace tort" and are covered under employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies. To sustain a claim for constructive discharge, employees must establish either that employment conditions are personally directed at the employee or that the conditions violate fundamental constitutional rights. (Merely unfair conditions of employment, such as unequal pay scales between men and women may not necessarily establish a claim.) Thus, where a former police chief of detectives was stripped of all duties and forced to sit all day at a desk in a windowless storage closet without a telephone, the court found that the employee stated a valid claim of constructive discharge.

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