Actual vs. Constructive Termination
But, the legal terminology we should use is that the person was a possible victim of “constructive termination.” So, I want to take a quick look at the two types of termination, actual and constructive.
When you are actually fired by your employer, you are notified in writing or verbally that they don’t want to see your Black a** no more! Yes, let me be real on that.
Constructive termination is when an employee resigns because their company or one or more of their representatives, such as a supervisor, director, etc., is intentionally creating a situation where the employee’s work environment is so hostile and intolerable that there is no way the person can stand to show up on the job anymore. And, the employer would have known that the person would have been compelled to resign based on what was going on at work. In those cases, it can be argued that the worker was a victim of constructive termination. In other words, they were forced to resign because it was the only reasonable choice, considering the circumstances.
To give you an example of constructive termination, I’ll describe what happened to a friend of mine, a manager. She was stripped of her staff, she was asked to clean the company’s three kitchens, she was forced to shred paper for days at a time and to break apart meeting folders, she was asked to wear a head scarf to serve clients food, she was given extremely menial tasks, and she was being demoted—at the time she resigned. She is now seeking legal remedy based on constructive termination among other violations of her rights. So, use the proper terminology. If you were run out of your job, say that you were the victim of constructive termination and prove your case!
FYI: Isolated acts of hostility or misconduct wouldn’t justify the accusation against an employer that there was constructive termination, but a continuous pattern of intolerable behavior would certainly support an employee’s claim that they were forced to leave their job.