Written by attorney Andrew Thomas Nettleman

North Carolina Employment Law | Is Your Boss Trying to Force You to Quit?

It is all too uncommon for a boss to try to force someone to quit rather that firing her. Employers often believe that someone who quits work will be unable to receive Unemployment Benefits. This is not true in North Carolina. The NC Employment Security Commission recognizes constructive termination as a means of an employee leaving work and a successful claim under this theory will still allow employees to receive unemployment benefits.

In NC ESC cases, the central question the Commission seeks to answer is, "Whether the Claimant [employee] left work without good cause attributable to the employer." If you are initially denied benefits and seek to appeal this denial because you were Constructively Terminated, he will base your case on this fact. Essentially, if your employer forced you to decide to quit through no fault of your own you have left work for a cause attributable to your employer and you should receive your unemployment benefits.

But what sort of things do employers typically do if they are trying to run you off?

  • Frequent changes in working hours.
  • More job responsibilities for which you were never trained
  • Removal of job responsibilities
  • Consistently decreasing your working hours
  • Transferring you to work for someone with whom the employer is aware that you don't get along
  • Verbal abuse
  • Ignoring/refusing to document your concerns
  • Verbal reprimands/written warnings for problems that have never been a problem before
  • Verbal reprimands/written warnings for problems that they reprimand no other employees for

What should you do if you suspect your employer is forcing you out?

  • Request a copy of your personnel file in writing
  • Keep a copy of all subsequent disciplinary documentation
  • Be polite to your boss and co-workers
  • Always do your job to the best of your ability
  • If you have a HR department, report your concerns
  • Follow all guidelines in your employee handbook
  • If you must quit, say that you are being forced out and don't want to quit but have to in your resignation letter. You can use this sample resignation letter as a starting point to build off of.

You may access all of our articles on North Carolina Employment Law here (

Additional resources provided by the author

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer