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Don’t Quit

Like many others, you may be quite tempted to resign or quit your position due to severe harassment or discrimination. It is likely a decision that you may regret.

The law does provide for “constructive discharge” lawsuits, however those can be difficult to prove.

You should assume you must first notify your employer formally of your belief that you are being discriminated against because of your sex, race, color, age, national origin, etc.

You must notify your employer so that they have an opportunity to “investigate” your complaint and to potentially correct whatever hostility or injustice may be occurring you have described to them in your formal letter. This letter should be sent in a ‘provable’ manner such as by certified mail, return receipt requested, with an overnight courier such as FedEx or through your company’s intranet email system. Print and save the email after you send it so it records the date and time. Also, if possible generate a “read” status report and print that to prove that your complaint was received by management or Human Resources.

If your employer in fact properly investigates your allegations and implements true “corrective action” to resolve your troubles, you will not be able to articulate a “case” of discrimination or “disparate treatment,” as the company has arguably “fixed” your problem once they became of aware of your grievance and did something about it; for instance, by firing the perpetrator of the sexual harassment.

If your employer does not properly investigate your complaint with a quick, reasonable amount of time, or if they treat you even worse because of the complaint, such as by threatening, demoting, or firing you shortly after you file your written complaint, you will then be able to argue that the employer retaliated against you for your civil rights complaint, which is illegal.

Quite often, retaliation complaints are far stronger than the original, underlying complaint for discrimination.

Quitting gets you nowhere with correcting the problem and keeping your job, nor with proving your lawsuit. In addition, if you quit, you will possibly not be entitled to collect unemployment benefits as your employer will say that you have “abandoned” your job.

If you are experiencing hostility or differential treatment at work, contact a qualified employment lawyer before you quit or are placed on probation, or demoted or fired.

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