Constructive Discharge Claim Properly Dismissed, 2d Circuit Holds

In Schultz v. Congregation Shearith Israel of the City of New York et al, 2017 WL 3427130 (2d Cir. Aug. 10, 2017), the Second Circuit (among other things) affirmed the district court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s constructive discharge claim.

The court explained that “[t]he constructive-discharge doctrine contemplates a situation in which an employer discriminates against an employee to the point such that his working conditions become so intolerable that a reasonable person in the employee’s position would have felt compelled to resign.”

From the decision:

[T]he facts alleged in this case [with respect to Defendants’ actions after Shultz returned from her honeymoon visibly pregnant] are sparse. Shultz alleges that, during her termination meeting with Resis, Soloveichik and Lustig, she was met with silence when she expressed her concerns about finding another job while pregnant. Shultz further alleged that after she received the notice of termination, she overheard a phone call in which Reiss disparaged her, her name was removed from a wall and a newsletter, and Soloveichik and Lustig did not speak to her. These acts alone, occurring over a period of a few weeks, are insufficient to raise an issue of fact with respect to whether Shultz can meet the high standard to establish that [s]he was constructively discharged. … Such a claim requires the employee to show both (1) that there is evidence of the employer’s intent to create an intolerable environment that forces the employee to resign, and (2) that the evidence shows that a reasonable person would have found the work conditions so intolerable that he would have felt compelled to resign. … Shultz has not pled sufficient facts arising after the notice of termination to establish that a reasonable person would have been compelled to resign in these circumstances.

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