Essay on Constructive Discharge Case

Essay on Constructive Discharge Case

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SUBJECT: Constructive Discharge Case

The recent changed in the company’s policy on shift work requiring production staff to work rotating 12-hour shifts with four days at work and then four days off to meet growing demands of customers prompted the employee to quit. The employee’s constructive discharge lawsuit claimed that the policy change is discriminatory because it requires employees to work on a religious holy day thereby creating an intolerable working condition that forced the employee to quit rather than suffer more abuse which is why constructive discharge as a legal concept is relevant to the scenario.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees and job applicants of companies with 15 or more employees from the employer’s unlawful employment practice of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. This law also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an independent federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination.

Courts have developed two different tests for determining when an employee has been constructively discharged by a discriminatory employer (Finnegan, 1986):

1. The Reasonable Person Test or majority view - an employee who resigns after being subjected to unlawful discrimination is said to have been constructively discharged if a reasonable person would have found the discriminatory conditions to be intolerable.

2. The Specific Intent Test or minority view - a plaintiff must show not only that conditions were intolerable, but also that the employer created those conditions with specific intent of forcing the employee to resign.

Company Response

An employee who seeks religious accommodation must make t...

... middle of paper ...

...prevent lawsuits by acting on complaints in a timely manner – by making sure that complaints are heard and acted upon within 30 days. The company needs to be vigilant and make sure that proper documentation of meetings, consultations, and decisions are being observed in order to protect its interest in case a similar situation such as this one arises in the future.


Finnegan, S. (1986). Constructive discharge under title vii and the adea. The University of Chicago Law Review, 53(2), Retrieved from

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (2008). Section 12, religious discrimination (No. 915.003). Retrieved from

Veronica Taylor v. Patuxent Institution, No. CCB-09-1111 (D. Md., 2009)

David A. Goldmeier and Terry C. Goldmeir v. Allstate Insurance Company, 337 F.3d 629 (6th Cir. 2003).

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