New Jersey Appeals Court Addresses Quantum of Proof in Constructive Discharge Case of Cecile Portilla v. Maxim Healthcare, Inc.
New Jersey employment law recognizes the concept of “constructive discharge.” Constructive discharge occurs when an employee’s working conditions are made so intolerable that the employee has no choice but to quit. When the actions causing the hostile work environment are undertaken because of discriminatory harassment, this can constitute wrongful termination even though the employee quit, rather than being fired. However, the burden of proof to prove constructive discharge is on the employee. The Appellate Division of New Jersey’s Superior Court recently issued an unpublished opinion addressing the question of proof.
The Appellate Division explained that the evidence in the case revealed the following facts.