Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

December 18, 2015  |  Discharged, Discrimination, Employment, Harassment

      Are you being harassed or discriminated against at work for your gender, race, religion, disability, pregnancy, or ethnic background?  Are you about to reach your breaking point?  Unless it is a matter of your safety or well-being, here’s why you should try to talk to a lawyer before you quit . . .

      When you quit a job you potentially lose some of your rights.  Your chances of obtaining unemployment benefits may be significantly reduced, and you may lose your opportunity to collect evidence for an employment lawsuit down the road.  Although there is the possibility of succeeding on a constructive discharge claim, to prove you were “constructively discharged” the courts require an employee to show that discriminatory conditions were so bad at work that a reasonable person in your shoes would feel compelled or required to leave and that there were no other reasonable options, which is a rather high standard to meet.  Claims relating to a hostile work environment based on discriminatory treatment require both testimonial and documentary evidence.  An employment lawyer can assist in advising you about your best course of action and collecting evidence before you make a decision about resigning.

      For example, if you quit without talking to a lawyer, you may not have established all the factors you need to bring a claim of harassment or discrimination.  You also likely won’t have accumulated the evidence that will support your case down the road.  What’s better - you verbally telling someone that circumstances were terrible, or having an email to your boss that confirms the discriminatory and hostile conditions you are suffering?   I strongly suggest that the latter is preferable.  If you talk to an attorney before you quit, we can help you get the documentation you need and advise you as to whether or not you have a viable lawsuit.

      Of course, if your safety or health is in danger, you need to do what is best for you.  Don’t put a legal claim before your own well-being.  But, if you can bear matters long enough to contact a lawyer, you will likely be glad you did down the road.

      It is important to know what rights you have, and it is most often ideal to know that at the beginning, before you give up the chance to improve your legal position.  We can help.  Talk to attorneys Megan Mersch or Mike O’Hara and see how we can put our experience to work for you.


Author: Megan E. Mersch