Robert Collins began work in the area
of employment law as a law clerk in law school handling wrongful discharge, FMLA and constructive
discharge cases. Constructive discharge is what most lay people refer to as "being forced to resign" but in
legal terms consists of circumstances where an employer makes working conditions so intolerable that no reasonable person
would tolerate continuing to work under those conditions, but is denied the opportunity for any different conditions.
To qualify for legal redress this constructive discharge must typically involve some sort of retaliatory measure by the employer.
That is to say that working in the rough working conditions of a meat packing plant and later quitting because of those conditions
is simply recognized as a resignation. But, if in the course of your work-- whether in a meat packing plant or a corporate
office-- you exercise your rights under any law or public policy that protects you or the behavior you engaged in and you
then experience any form of retaliation, discrimination, harassment, or other conditions that would constitute constructive
discharge, you have also then experienced a wrongful constructive discharge and may be entitled to full legal redress, even
if you resigned and were not actually fired. Constructive discharge also can happen in cases where an employee exercises
legal rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, express or implied terms of employment
agreements, seek to force you to quit in regard to your religion, your age, etc. In short, it is the intent of the employer
that is the key. Often employers will use pretextual claims for the grounds for a demotion, termination, or altering
of one's working conditions sufficient to cause them to resign in the midst of intolerable conditions.
Further, whether wrongfully terminated or unlawfully constructively discharged,
if you can substantiate your claims to the Kansas Department of Labor, you are fully eligible for any and all unemployment
benefits the same as if you had been laid off. But it is important that you gather as much evidence as possible to substantiate
your claims and, if necessary, to obtain the assistance of a lawyer who can help you substantiate your claims and obtain your
If you are being treated
differently from your coworkers, this disparate treatment could be evidence of discrimination in violation of either federal
statutes or of implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing construed into every “at-will” employment contract
in Kansas. Collins Law Office can help you assess your particular situation and provide legal advice to protect your rights.
We will hold your employer or fellow employees responsible for disparate treatment and unacceptable working conditions, including
sexual harassment and age discrimination.
Law Office handles age discrimination cases involving the protection of employee rights as guaranteed by the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act and its applicable amendments. If you believe age discrimination is the real reason behind your termination
(or “Constructive Discharge”) during a workforce reduction, Collins Law Office may be able to help.
As an employee, you should be able to pursue your
career without being upended by the devastating effects of sexual harassment. No one deserves a hostile work environment and
sexual harassment involving inappropriate language—including comments about gender or pregnancy—should never be
Work Conditions and Environment
you feel you are working in a hostile work environment, Collins Law Office may be able to help. If you
are part of a protected class because of your age, gender, pregnancy status, race, religion, national origin, disability or
certain medical conditions, there are federal statutes which provide you certain legal rights from hostile working conditions.
Further, if you have become the victim of retaliation for exercising any protected legal rights, or for standing against
your employer to protect the public interest, there are yet other applicable statutes available for your protection and reinstatement
to being made whole.
There are also causes of
action which apply to and protect all people and classes related to emotional distress, breach of contract, breach
of implied covenants of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference with your economic advantage, which may each
also be triggered by workplace bullying or discrimination. Only by consulting with an experienced attorney
can you identify which protections, if any, may apply to your specific situation.
The most common areas of employment law violations involve sexual harassment; discrimination
based on age, race, gender, disability, etc.; hostile or unsafe working environments; and wrongful or retaliatory discharge.
Each of these causes of action have brief statute of limitations periods and it is imperative that you contact the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission or an experienced attorney quickly to ensure that your rights are protected. However, because
certain wrongful acts can sometimes be avoided by contacting an attorney before the illegal act can be carried out
against you, it may be advisable to seek legal assistance to identify any curative measures that may exist while still retaining
your employment, if the unlawful conduct precedes termination.