Can an employer force a resignation?

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Can an employer force a resignation?

Asked on January 19, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

South Carolina is an at-will employment law state which means that either the employee or the employer can end the relationship at any time for any reason.... except employers may not fire an employee for an illegal reason.

An employer can, and they often do, try to "strongly encourage" employees to resign.  They usually do this because they think that it will insulate them from liability for unemployment or any other employment law related claims.  Essentially they argue:  "We didn't fire the employee. They quit."  Regardless of this mentality, an employee who is forced to resign can file a variety of claims depending on the motivations behind their actions.  If the motivations are for an illegal purpose (like racial discrimination, worker's comp retaliation, or whistleblower retaliation), then the employee can still file a claim under the theory that they were forced to quit because of disparate treatment or a hostile work environment.  If a person is concerned that they are being forced to resign for an illegal purpose, then they should arrange for a consultation with an employment law attorney.


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