On March 10, 2020, Sher Tremonte and Paul Weiss, as co-counsel, won a precedent-setting victory on employment rights in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
An employee of a Connecticut police department alleged employment discrimination after being forced to resign. The district court granted summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff’s claim based on its conclusion that the plaintiff was not constructively discharged because she had chosen to resign rather than proceed with a disciplinary hearing. On appeal, Jennifer X. Luo of Sher Tremonte successfully argued that, even though there was no direct threat of termination by the plaintiff’s employer, the employee was constructively discharged based on the totality of circumstances. The Second Circuit agreed and found that “neither an absolute statement nor a direct communication by an ultimate decisionmaker” is required for constructive discharge to take place. Rather, the Second Circuit held that constructive discharge may be implied, and an employee’s decision to resign in the absence of express threats can constitute adverse employment action.