In a recent case (Faulkner v. Dillon VLW 015-3-141) Ms. Faulkner alleged the defendant had sexually harassed her. The defendant was the owner of dry cleaning business in Bluefield, Virginia. As a result, she re-signed and commenced a lawsuit for constructive discharge in the United States District Court in Abingdon, Virginia.
Virginia has traditionally followed the "employee at will" doctrine. This essentially means an employer can discharge an employee for any reason that is not illegal. The Supreme Court of Virginia has never recognized constructive discharge as an exception to the employee at will rule.
Notwithstanding this, US District Court Judge Jones said there was a growing trend in the Circuit Courts in Virginia to recognize this exception. Judge Jones allowed Ms. Faulkner's claim to go forward as an exception to the "employee at will" doctrine.
For more information: contact Jerry Lutkenhaus at (804-358-4766 or 1(800) 256-8862 or visit our website at Virginia Workers Compensation Lawyer.