Constructive Discharge Memo

Topics: Employment, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Termination of employment Pages: 6 (1910 words) Published: November 25, 2012
To:Mike Bigg, CEO
From:HR Manager
Constructive Discharge

Constructive discharge occurs when an employee is forced to quit because the working conditions have become unbearable. According to Black’s Law Dictionary a constructive discharge is “a termination of employment brought about by making the employee's working conditions so intolerable that the employee feels compelled to leave."These conditions would include harassment or discrimination or receiving a negative change in working conditions or his pay for reasons that are not work related. A litmus test for this is to determine what a reasonable person would do in this scenario. If a reasonable person would have resigned due to the unbearable conditions, and if the employer had actual knowledge of the intolerable actions or conditions and could have remedied them but did not, then the employee would be considered constructively discharged.

In a case where an employee feels the employer made the job so unbearable that he cannot remain there, a wrongful termination suit can be filed. In legal terms, being compelled to quit is legally similar to being unfairly discharged. In the case we are facing now, the complainant feels that our schedule change would not allow him to continue his employment with us due to the fact the rotating schedule would force him to occasionally work on his religious holy day. In our situation, this law could have some merit if it can be proven that we changed the schedule in an attempt to target any specific individuals. In that case, we could be deemed at fault. However, due to company growth, the work schedule was modified to reflect a new production requirement. Since the changes were due directly to the need to change the entire production schedule and not aimed specifically at a single employee, this situation should not apply.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an act that was passed by congress to provide citizens protection against discrimination by employers based on race, religion, color, sex and national origin. In Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the law stipulates that it shall be an unlawful practice for an employer to discharge any employee, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of his employment because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. This is the primary federal law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace. In basic terms, this act prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. Age discrimination and disability discrimination are not included in this act and are now covered by subsequent laws enacted by congress. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 relates directly to our case as the employee in question has charged that we violated his rights under this act based on religion discrimination. His claim that we are making him work on his religious holy day brings Title VII into focus and it needs to be reviewed to see if his claim can be substantiated. Upon review of the entire operation and in light of the growth the company is experiencing, it does not appear that we have violated his civil rights as claimed under this act. With all personnel being affected by the schedule change and each employee treated equally in the scheduling, it would not seem likely that one individual has been singled out for his religious beliefs.


In reviewing the facts surrounding this case, it is apparent that we are not guilty of the charges levied against us and I suggest that we proceed forward and litigate this case. Since the decision was made to change shifts due to company growth and the need for a revised production schedule, I do not feel that we...
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