Forced Resignation: Firing By Another Name
A forced resignation is sometimes viewed by employers as a way to save face for the employee who is being forced to resign. That way the employee doesn’t have to deal with the issue of being fired. It can also be a way for employers attempt to avoid responsibility for laying off employees.
However, a forced resignation always comes with the threat of being fired if you do not resign. It functions in much the same way as a firing. In fact, the law views a forced resignation as a constructive discharge. If it looks, acts and functions as a discharge, it is a discharge.
Any resignation that is instigated or forced by the employer is considered a discharge for purposes of unemployment benefits.
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) administers unemployment claims. In order to receive benefits, you must have lost your job (been discharged) through no fault of your own in addition to meeting other requirements during your benefits period.
Case Applications of Forced Resignations
Not all forced resignations occur in a traditional manner. For example, a benefit claimant and the employer signed a one-year contract. During the early part of the contractual period, the claimant told the employer that she would not be signing a further contract with him for another year. Seven months later, before the expiration of the initial contract, the claimant was told that the employer had hired someone else and that her last day would be the following month and the claimant was discharged. When she filed for benefits, they were allowed. This was s constructive discharge and there was no misconduct. (96 AT 2846 BR)
In another case, a claimant was unable to pass a test required for him to keep his job. He was told that he would be dismissed. He resigned to avoid the discharge. Benefits were allowed as this was a constructive discharge with no misconduct shown. (90 AT 9207 UCFE BR)
Benefits were also allowed to a woman who was employed as an executive director, although many of her duties were secretarial in nature. The employer revised her job description adding more responsibility. The employer was told she could apply for the position. She declined and submitted her resignation. The Board held that the employee was constructively discharged when she was told that applicants were being sought for her position. There was no evidence of misconduct. (90 AT 7215 BR)
Forced resignation can save face, but often, the employee will still be allowed benefits. If you have questions regarding your situation, you should bring them to an Oklahoma unemployment attorney. Contact someone trained and experiences in the law regarding unemployment benefits for an assessment of your situation.
Free Legal Consultation With An Experienced Oklahoma Unemployment Attorney in Tulsa
Sometimes, what looks like a voluntary resignation is actually a constructive discharge. An unemployment attorney can explain the difference, to you and to a hearing officer.
Let Oklahoma Unemployment Experts work for you and protect your benefits to the full extent of the law. To set up your free consultation with the Oklahoma Unemployment Experts attorney’s office, call (918) 923-3776, or click the button below to sign up for a no-obligation unemployment consultation now.