Unfair job changes forcing an employee to quit or be fired
An employee claimant filed a court case concerning a claim for unfair and constructive discharge by an employee who alleged that his employer imposed a new job description on him and he alleged that his terms of employment was substantially modified by such changes to his duties imposed by his employer. The court upheld this claim.
The claimant was initially employed as an designer in its design support department. On December 10 2002, a significant section of the design department was transferred to the appellant employer.
After the transfer, the employer announced its plans to restructure the department. This meant that the claimant’s position would have changed to that of a management role from the hands-on design work he had done prior. On or around January 5 2003, the claimant attended a conference where he stated that he believed his position was forced to become redundant. He emailed the employer stating that as a result of the proposed restructuring, his professional experience was being lowered and he was becoming less of a designer. He also stated that his job was becoming redundant. On or around January 10th, he again emailed to his employer stating displeasure in respect of his new role, which he stated was not comparable with the job duties requirements of the role he had when he was initially transferred to the employer.
He filed a complaint and after this hearing the claimant was told that his position wasn’t redundant. Shortly after he quit due to constructive termination. The claimant then made claim where the held that he was constructively discharged. The court found that the effective cause of the employee’s resignation ended up being the imposition of the new job description, which in turn fundamentally breached the terms associated with his employment contract, with the end result being that the claimant was allowed resign and to be handled by the employer as being discharged. The court consequently upheld his claim. The employer appealed to the court of appeals.
The employer in their appeal contended that the court misunderstood the claimant’s employment contract of work. The appeals court decision was perverse; the issues to the determination were perhaps the court erred in arriving at its conclusion regarding: The extent of the claimant’s duties under his contract. The extent of which those job duties were being changed. If the employer had been entitled to change his duties, or even, whether the claimants breach of contract was a simple breach entitling him step down from his position and resign.
The appeal court dismissed the appeal along with held that in these circumstances:
The court was allowed conclude how the changes on the claimants duties under his contract associated with employment were a simple breach associated with his contract. The court would not err within its construction in the claimant’s contract or concluding that with the changes suggested to his duties, the employer had intended never to be binded by the claimant’s contract.
The court’s decision how the claimant was allowed resign on the basis of constructive termination was correct.
The courts conclusions for the evidence that there were clearly significant modifications to the claimant’s duties, which would have had the issue of ousting him just as another designer, ended up whom also resigned.
The claimant’s contract, read in whole, did not enable the employer to change the claimants duties to the extent along with job modifications it imposed.