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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18848
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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my question in regards XXXXX XXXXX termination. earlier

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my question in regards XXXXX XXXXX termination. earlier in the year, an hourly associate and a salaried manager informed me that a member of Human Resources had informed them that i was going to be terminated and that a change was going to be made with respect to my position. This conversation happened when an associate called Human Resources to report a particular incident. When they both informed me of this, I found out that i was being placed on a PIP-performance improvement plan without warning or without indication that my performance was unsatisfactory.
Would i be wrong to assume that the PIP placement was just a fact of possibly "going through the motions", and that if the company had already made a decision regarding my employment, prior to placing me on a PIP and then notifying my associates, could this be an example of a constructive termination? is this legal in terms of employment law?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

Constructive termination is a legal term, but it doesn't really have application here.

Constructive termination is when an employer, through their actions, makes working in a location so unbearable that the employee essentially has no other choice but to quit. It is applicable in two situations

1. If an employee has a contract of employment stating that they can only be terminated for cause. The employer can't terminate the employee without cause, because the contract says that they can't, so they make work so horrible that the employee quits. Well, courts would consider that a constructive discharge.

2. For purposes of unemployment, if an employee resigns they are generally disqualified from unemployment. The employer doesn't want to terminate the employee and allow them unemployment, so they make the workplace so unbearable that the employee resigns. Unemployment would consider that a constructive discharge and allow the employee unemployment benefits.

Your situation doesn't invoke constructive discharge. It is not illegal in employment law for an employer to have a standard, walk through the motions PIP program unless that employer has a contract with the employee specifically stating that the employee can only be terminated for cause.
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