If I’m being constructively discharged, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I’m being constructively discharged, what are my rights?

Paralegal at law form for 14 years. Had alcohol problems 8 years ago. Boss is verbally abusive, demanding, disrespectful and treats me differently than anyone else. Changed conditions of my employment numerous times. Got mad at me last week, and told me yesterday that if I did not agree to go to an intensive outpatient program so I could work all day, I would be terminated. I do not have a substance abuse problem not going to do it

Asked on April 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is not constructive discharge: the law does NOT prohibit an employer from being verbally abusive, demanding, disrespectful, etc., and so if you choose to quit due to this, it is a voluntary separation from employment or resignation and you have no rights (e.g. no right to compensation). You also have no right to stop this unfortunate behavior.
An employer must make a "reasonable accommodation" to an employee's medical condition, but not to the employee's actions or behavior. So if you are an alcoholic but that in no way affects your work, behavior at work, or schedule, he cannot discriminate against or harass you for that reason and if he does, you could contact the EEOC about filing a disability-based discrimination complaint. But if you are late or leave early, cannot work the required hours, or have any output or performance issues (not doing enough work; missing deadlines; or making mistakes; etc.), he can take action against you due to those reasons and can require you to do something to correct the problems.

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