By resigning, you are doing a disservice to yourself and likely helping your employer avoid potential liability.
While some employees feel their resignation allows them to part ways with a company on their own terms, in many instances it solely benefits the employer and harms the employee. For the most part, employees will not be able to collect unemployment insurance benefits where an employee voluntarily leaves their employment without good cause. Wedgle v. Commissioner of Labor, 99 A.D.3d 1139 (3rd Dept. 2012).
Further, besides not being able to collect unemployment benefits, in many instances an employee’s resignation could be fatal for an employee’s claim against an employer that would otherwise be viable had the employer terminated the employee. The recent case of Collazo v. County of Suffolk and Nancy D’Ambrosio, (2016 WL 660856, 12-CV-2196(JS)(GRB) (E.D.N.Y. February 17, 2016)) holds that an employee will not be considered constructively discharged unless “an employer ‘intentionally creates a work atmosphere so intolerable that [the plaintiff] is forced to quit involuntarily.’ ” (citing Edwards v. Huntington Union Free Sch. Dist., 957 F.Supp.2d 203, 213 (E.D.N.Y.2013) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted; alteration in original)). The constructive discharge standard is “demanding” and it will not be satisfied based on difficult or unpleasant working conditions or the plaintiff’s preference to no longer work for the employer. Id. Rather, the plaintiff must present evidence: “(1) that the employer acted deliberately or intentionally in bringing about the complained of work conditions, and (2) that the conditions were ‘intolerable.’ ” Id. (citing Petrosino v. Bell Atl., 385 F.3d 210, 229 (2d Cir.2004)). Further, while proof of the employer’s specific intent is not required; the plaintiff must establish “that the employer’s actions were deliberate and not merely negligent or ineffective.” Petrosino, 385 F.3d at 229 (internal quotation marks, citation, and alterations omitted).
Rather than allow a Court to have to make a determination as to whether an employee was constructively discharged, an employee should contact an employment attorney to discuss their options prior to resigning from their employment or allowing their employer to convince them to resign.
Our firm wants to ensure that your employer is not depriving you of your right to work in an environment free of discriminatory animus, where you feel forced to resign from your position. If you believe you or your family member was and/or has been discriminated and/or retaliated against in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact the employment attorneys of Risman & Risman, P.C. at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.
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