What is the standard for proving constructive discharge to gain unemployment benefits

Asked on June 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, constructive discharge occurs when an employee is forced to quit because their employer has made working conditions intolerable (such conditions include harassment, discrimination, negative changes in pay/hours for unrelated work reason, etc). 

Typically employees who voluntarily quit are not expected to receive unemployment benefits and lose the right to sue the company for wrongful termination. However, constructive discharge is an exception. If constructive discharge can be proven, then an employee can collect unemployment benefits and/or sue for wrongful termination.

For more information, the US Department of Labor has information on the law regulating this, as well as informtion on where and how to file a claim. Your state's labor department will also have similar information available. Furrther, if you're are not sure whether you're eligible for unemployment, check with your local unemployment office to determine your eligibility.

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