Charles Starzynski, Plaintiff and Appellant

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Capital Public Radio, Inc. 88 Cal. App. 4th 33 (2001)

CHARLES STARZYNSKI, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO, INC., DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT

ISSUE:

1.Whether Starzynski was wrongfully discharged from his position. 2. Whethe Starzynski ‘s discharge was constructive.

RULE:

1.“judgment is properly granted when there is no triable issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 437c(c). A defendant or cross-defendant has met his or her burden of showing that a cause of action has no merit if that party has shown that one or more elements of the cause of action, even if not separately pleaded, cannot be established. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 437(o)(2). Once the moving party defendant meets its burden, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show a triable issue of material fact exists. Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 437c(o)(2). On appeal, the reviewing court exercises its independent judgment, deciding whether undisputed facts have been established that negate the opposing party's claim or state a complete defense. Cal. Lab. Code § 2922 establishes the presumption that an employer may terminate its employees at will, for any or no reason. A fortiori, the employer may act peremptorily, arbitrarily, or inconsistently, without providing specific protections such as prior warning, fair procedures, objective evaluation, or preferential reassignment”.

2.“Constructive discharge occurs when the employer's conduct effectively forces an employee to resign. Although the employee may say, "I quit," the employment relationship is actually severed involuntarily by the employer's acts, against the employee's will. As a result, a constructive discharge is legally regarded as a firing rather than a resignation. An employee cannot simply "quit and sue," claiming he or she was constructively discharged. The conditions giving rise to the resignation must be sufficiently extraordinary and...
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