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How do I Resign Due to Workplace Harassment?

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Harassment in the workplace can take a number of forms: sexual harassment (including unwanted sexual advances and requests in exchange for favors), bullying and threats made by employees disgruntled with an increase in your wages or stature within the company, and outright intimidation by management which adversely affects not only job performance but also off-work time. Any of these can cause mental injury, stress-related illness or injury, and even thoughts of suicide to those who see "no way out." Resignation is one option, but only after you have exhausted all legal avenues.

Make an appointment to speak with someone within your company's human resources division about the harassment. Most companies form such a division which is separate and absolutely autonomous (independent of) all the other divisions within the company (to prevent favoritism and meddling in the affairs of employees). Present the information in writing with the words "cc: human resources, self, attorney at law."

Retain the services of an attorney who specializes in workplace harassment cases. Though this isn't absolutely necessary, you may want an attorney in the event you experience physical or verbal threats which may affect your lifestyle or safety even were you to resign from the company. In such a case, an attorney can evaluate any monetary damages you could receive upon resignation should the company fail to rectify the harassment matter, as well as to investigate possible criminal prosecution of the offender(s). Once you obtain legal services, provide a copy of all written correspondence made between you and the human resources division to the attorney.

Write a letter of resignation should all other attempts fail. Include your full name, employee or social security number, date your resignation becomes effective, and a full description and time-line of all events which occurred from the beginning to the time of your resignation. Provide full details, including language used, but refrain from mentioning other employees who may have witnessed the harassment (they may be harassed and threatened themselves as a result). Submit the resignation letter to the appropriate individual at the company's human resources division and then leave the premises.

Report threats of physical harm to yourself or your family to your local police department immediately upon resignation. That creates an official record of the threats if you chose not to make use of an attorney prior to resignation. Report any further unwanted contact made by the offenders once you have filed the resignation letter and after having left your employment with the company.

Warning

Sexual harassment can be especially damaging to an individual, whether male or female. In severe cases where it is simply "shrugged off" for the sake of maintaining a paycheck, forced sexual "favors" can turn into "taken" sexual favors in the form of rape.

About the Author

Kurt Schanaman has had several editorials printed by the Star-Herald Newspaper publication in Western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College.

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