We all put a lot of effort from the very beginning of our lives to make successful career. There is also a lot of investment that goes into education, professional courses, training and personal development, when we are taking steps on the career ladder. Without any doubt, modern generation is career oriented and work is the center of our financial, personal and social well-being. We don’t mind the sacrifices and adjustment we keep on doing to maintain our jobs, and most of the time we are quite happy (or at least well justified) about our jobs and salaries.
We all relate to our work and plan our life according to various options that start opening on the professional front. But at times we may have to face some undesirable and intolerable working conditions which force us to quit our once beloved job. Well, most of us remain ignorant about our legal rights pertaining to such situations. If you are one of those then you have landed on the right place as we are going to help you in this regard.
There are many situations when people don’t have any other options but to quit their jobs as they simply can’t work under unbearable circumstances. It is called constructive dismissal when your employer creates or allows creation of such conditions that urge you to resign. Most time it is intentional because your employer doesn’t require your services but can’t opt for wrongful termination (which again is illegal and you as an employee can seek compensation for it). You have to provide sufficient evidence that you have quit your job because of intolerable working conditions. In order to prove such fact, you need to be able to recognize situations like the following examples:
- Mistreatment at work. If your employer or co-worker is not treating you well then you should let them know what are the things that you don’t like about it and consider unprofessional. You can also complain to your superior about mistreatment of co-workers that you are facing. You should make sure that you have informed every possible person before quitting your job. Most people might change their behavior and you should give enough time for your co-workers to make the amendments. If nothing works then you should resign from your position and hire services of a wrongful dismissal lawyer for securing your compensation.
- Continuation of mistreatment even after complaints. There are many cases when people face continuous humiliation even when they have registered complaints to their superiors. It happens because an employer never took any serious actions or is directly or indirectly involved in such case. You should make your stand clear and collect enough evidence that can prove your innocence. Most people leave their job without collecting evidences and later they fail to prove mistreatment they had to go through in the first place. It is very important step that can change the results of your case. You should wait at least for a couple of weeks to see if anything changes before quitting your job.
- Humiliation and reduced role. A lot of employees face serious problems in working conditions as they have to work on positions that they were not assigned for, such as manager working as a superior. An employer may also start diminishing the role/authority of an employee to create awful work environment and to force him/her to leave. Decreased role can deteriorate self-esteem of an employee and make serious repercussions on his/her career. That is why you should protest against such acts. You should demand such things in written by the employer as that can be used as evidence.
- Creating awful environment. When people are working in teams then it is very important that everyone should contribute in work and create perfect environment, but many co-workers create nuisance for others. In such conditions an employee can’t grow and work properly. You should complain about such cases to your supervisor, manager or directly to your employer. Make sure that you wait until superiors have taken an action. If they don’t take any appropriate actions then you can quit your job.
- Forced to work more that your shift If your superior or manager is forcing you to change your shift then you should contact your employer for avoiding such situations. It can disturb your lifestyle as managing different things when your shifts are constantly changing can be very hectic. Most people can’t cope-up with such pressure and they have no choice but quit their jobs. You should not leave your job immediately in such situation because then it won’t be taken as constructive discharge. You should complain about your problem and changes in schedules to the human resources department and wait for few weeks. If no one takes any action then you can resign and hire a lawyer for securing your right for compensation.
- Discrimination or sexual harassment If you are facing problems in your working conditions because of any kind of discrimination or sexual harassment – you should complain about the situation to your employer and legal authorities. It is against the law as you should not face this kind of issues in your working environment. If you are facing nasty comments or any kind of other harassment – you can complain about it to your employer or file a lawsuit.
- Decreased salary. There are instances where people have to face a lot of discrimination when it comes to income. There can be significant disparity in some organizations. When employees come to know about the difference then that can be really disappointing. On the other hand, there are also situations where salary of an employee is reduced without any justification, a valid reason or prior notice. When there is considerable amount that is reduced from the wages it can affect the financial well-being of a person. This leads to many problems for the employee on the professional and financial front, that can force him/her to contemplate quitting the job altogether.
- Demands of favors There is endless list of favors which become a part of working arena. The load can be unbearable for an employee if it keeps piling up. Small yet numerous botheration can also pave a way for quite an unproductive atmosphere where employees feel really oppressed. If you are also facing such situation when you are burdened by a lot of many “out-of-the-way” work load then it can cause a lot of problems in your work life.
Here, you should provide sufficient evidence that mistreatment has happened due to your boss’ or executed on his/her behalf. There are many cases where co-workers create lots of problems, like sexual harassment and they don’t stop even when you have warned them, with no actions taking against them after complaining to your superiors and no action is taken against them. Most people quit their jobs under such circumstances. In such cases, you have a very strong case of constructive dismissal.
How an employer can be in a serious trouble if he/she is responsible for creating intolerable working conditions
Without any doubts, an employer can be in real jeopardy if it is proved in the court that working environment was not congenial for the employee and there were deliberate actions imposed by the employer to make situation worse for the employee. There are severe penalties that such employer has to face if his/her fault is proved.
Penalties may include the salary of all months from the day of leaving the job till you the day a lawsuit filed against the employer. It may also include added income after winning of your case till you are not re-hired or have not gotten similar kind of job. In most cases compensation can also include attorney’s fee.
In addition to this, there are also two other types of damage that you can seek compensation for: Compensatory damages and Punitive damages. In case of compensatory damages, you can seek cover for pain and suffering that you had to go through due to intolerable conditions at your work place. Psychological, emotional stress that is posed in the work place can further deteriorate heath and personal life of a person. Hence, you are liable to seek compensation for intolerable behavior, attitude and actions of your employer. Secondly, compensation for punitive damage act like punishment for the employer’s misdoings.
It is clear that if you are an employer and are proved to be responsible for creating nuisance for your employees – then you can be in a big trouble. You will not only risk your reputation but also finances if you get involved in such allegations. It is imperative that you create healthy atmosphere for your employees so that such eventualities can be negated altogether.
What you as an employee can do when you are facing intolerable working conditions?
As an employee, there are many things that you can do to handle such situations. First of all, conditions that are causing you problems should be highlighted and brought into notice of the employer. You can also suggest a suitable solution that can be implemented so that you can feel comfortable working. If your employer is not easily accessible then you should consult with your immediate senior. You should report your problems to the authority figure in the organization. You can help yourself by quitting your job for a week or more, after you have complained about the problem to your superiors. You should provide your employer sufficient time to fix the problem. If the situation remains the same or worsen then you have the right to file a legal complaint as any delay on this front will further deteriorate your well-being on many levels.
While employed on the same job, you can collect evidences like written proofs of salary slips that show decrease in your wages. In case of more work, you can start taking work assignments or instructions in writing so that you can demonstrate to the court that you are actually asked to work more etc. This way, you need to make sure that you make suitable grounds for making solid claim for your suffering in hostile work environment.
How seeking an experienced employment attorney can help you
If you want to be proactive – you should consult an attorney as soon as possible, so that they can guide you in taking the right steps. He/she can even suggest you remedies which can improve your working conditions while you are still on the position. If the case turns out to be more hostile, then your attorney can guide you towards quitting the job altogether and filing a lawsuit. When you are guided by legal experts, you can keep your stress to the minimum and there is less botheration about paper work and other formalities.
Secondly, you will be more confident in pursuing the legal proceeding when you have able and experienced people to support you at every step. You are more likely to get suitable compensation for everything that you had to go through, which surely acts as a boost to your professional and personal integrity. This also paves the way for better professional prospects in the future and negates disappointments. Hence, it is imperative that you don’t hesitate in seeking help of an attorney well on time.
Now there is an option of a free consultation available to negate any kind of confusion. You can discuss your case fully with a legal professional and you can make sure that you do everything in your power to seek justice. Moreover, most attorneys ask for payment only after they win the case for you. When you have compensation in your hands then you are asked to pay for their services. This indeed is welcoming to all those who keep hesitating when they consider legal expenses.
All in all, your conscientiousness in handling your case makes all the difference in your present as well as in the future. Therefore, make sure that you are taking all necessary steps that empower you and help you in living a life of dignity even when you have to fight for it!