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On Behalf of Lyon Legal, P.C. Sept. 4, 2019

If Someone Quits, Is It Still Wrongful Termination? Maybe

Not every employer-employee relationship works. At times, that relationship can degrade to the point where the employee decides to quit. The problem is that if the behavior of those representing the employer — such as supervisors, managers and even co-workers — becomes egregious, it often creates a hostile work environment. Under those circumstances, a Long Beach resident may decide to quit, which may constitute a constructive dismissal, or wrongful termination.

Where an employer may argue that the worker quit voluntarily, allowing the workplace to become so hostile that it caused him or her to quit could negate that assertion. If the evidence shows that the employer failed to live up to an implied or express employment contract or engaged in unlawful conduct, then there could be a case for wrongful termination. However, it will take more than a statement from the employee to make the case.

The behavior cannot be an isolated incident. It must be pervasive. In addition, the behavior must be considered hostile or egregious to a “reasonable” person. Everyone has a different tolerance to certain behaviors and actions, so there needs to be some sort of standard to indicate when the behavior crosses a legal line.

Employees should not have to tolerate this type of behavior. A Long Beach resident who recently quit a job because the hostility was too much to take and the conditions became intolerable may have a claim for wrongful termination. It may help to discuss the situation with an employment law attorney in order to gain an understanding of his or her rights and determine whether filing a complaint would be appropriate.



The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects employees from discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on the basis of their race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, martial status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or veteran or military status.

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