Constructive Discharge

DischargeIn 1997 the (EPA) Employment Protection Act established a revision to wrongful termination specifically covered in the Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 23-1052. It is a protection against a constructive discharge of an employee which may occur because they are subject to “objectively difficult or unpleasant working conditions to the extent that a reasonable employee would feel compelled to resign.”

In the past, as a result of certain employment conditions that may have prompted an employee to quit, the EPA also gave employees the right to bring forth a suit against the employer for unlawful discrimination or wrongful termination. Under the new A.R.S. 23-1502 an employee can only file a claim or lawsuit for the following 2 reasons:

  1. Outrageous Conduct: Conduct by employer or manager that includes sexual assault, threats of violence, continuous pattern of discriminatory harassment, or other similar kinds of conduct. All the above mentioned conduct that would cause a reasonable employee to feel compelled to resign and they can file a claim of constructive discharge.
  2. Outrageous Employment Conditions: When an employee is subject to objectively difficult or unpleasant working conditions to the extent that a reasonable employee would feel compelled to resign.
  • Employee must give a minimum of 15 days’ notice;
  • Employee is entitled to 15 days paid to unpaid leave while employer remedies issues or responds to written complaints;
  • Employer has the opportunity to remedy the situation before the employee resigns; and
  • If the employer fails to respond to the concerns then the employee has a chance to file a claim of constructive discharge because of difficult or unpleasant working conditions.

If the employee fails to properly meet requirements in establishing a claim they can only file for outrageous conduct, but not difficult or unpleasant conditions. Because of the steps involved to claim wrongful termination under constructive discharge we recommend seeking legal help.

If you are a victim of Outrageous Conduct or Outrageous Employment Conditions in your work environment, our attorneys at Chelle & Zoldan can give you strong legal advice and guide you through the entire process of filing a claim.