If you voluntarily lose your job, you generally will not be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. This is because the unemployment compensation system is in place to help individuals who have lost their job through no fault of their own. In some instances, however, you may be able to receive benefits if you quit your job due to certain intolerable conditions in the workplace. This type of situation is referred to as “constructive discharge.” If you quit because the conditions were so bad that a reasonable person would not keep working there, you likely have a strong case to receive unemployment benefits.
In order to prove that you quit due to constructive discharge, you must prove the following:
- Some policy or act by your employer caused you mistreatment
- You complained about the mistreatment but it was allowed to continue
- A reasonable person would find that it was intolerable to continue working in that environment
- There is a clear cause and effect regarding the mistreatment and your choice to quit your job
Simply having a boss who is not very nice or getting into an argument with a coworker are not situations that would qualify as mistreatment that rises to the level of constructive discharge. Some common examples of qualifying mistreatment may include:
- Sexual harassment
- Harassment or other discriminating activities based on race, sex, religion, age, or disability
- Retaliation1 for complaining about unlawful discrimination or other whistleblowing activities
- Retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim or taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)2
- Health or safety code violations in the workplace
If you can prove that you were constructively discharged due to unlawful activity, you will be able to qualify for unemployment provided you meet all the other requirements. You may also bring a legal claim to recover back-pay and any other losses you experienced as a result of losing your job.
An experienced unemployment lawyer in St. Louis and St. Charles can help you
If you believe that you have been constructively discharged, the help of an experienced unemployment attorney is imperative. Do not delay in calling the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp at 636-947-3600 to discuss your case.