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Constructive discharge and workplace discrimination

Some Texas employees may face so much discrimination or harassment at work that they have little choice but to resign. It may then be possible for these employees to take their employers to court on what is known as a "constructive discharge" " claim. However, it might be difficult to prove, and it requires a higher level of harassment or discrimination than what is required to establish a hostile work environment.

For a person to claim discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the person usually must stay at the job. The basic idea behind a constructive discharge is that an employee is placed in a situation in which a reasonable person would have little choice but to quit. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit named three conditions that must be in place before leaving a job is considered a constructive discharge. The person must show that there was intentional discrimination, that working conditions were deliberately made unbearable and that circumstances resulted in a situation in which the only option was quitting.

Constructive discharge claims have been successful in a number of different discrimination cases including whistleblower and racial discrimination. The deadline for filing a claim is counted from the time a person gives notice.

An employee might want to consult an attorney before a situation of harassment or discrimination in the workplace reaches this point. The attorney may be able to explain the worker's rights and how the employee might go about trying to address the issue in the workplace. This may include documenting the incidents of harassment as well as any reluctance on the part of the company to address the issue.

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