Forced to Leave: How Should I Do It?

Question: Hi Alan, I read your blogs on resignation and its really helpful. I am facing a problem in my current job and I want to know your advice in taking my next step. I have a very difficult time with my immediate boss. In the first incident I escalated to his boss who is also in charge of the company. After that incident the situation was still worse and I couldn’t take it any more and can’t show any proof or complain to higher authority. So I decided to leave and it was very difficult to search a new job without them knowing as the company is very small. Is it advisable to inform my employer that I want to leave the company and serve the notice period. There is no way I can stay in my current company as I escalated twice and these incidents affected my health too. Please suggest to me how to proceed now.

“Forced to Resign”, Arizona

Answer: Sorry to hear of your bad experience, though it’s one many employees face daily. I call what you are going through “Forced to Resign.” My suggestion is that you take these four steps:

(1) Submit your Notice of Resignation in writing, preferably in an email, to the company head. Always use the word “Forced” in front of “Resigned.” If email isn’t available, send it Federal Express, so that you have proof of delivery.
(2) In your Notice of Forced Resignation, provide the end date you would prefer, but try to give at least two weeks’ notice. Try to make your last day one of the first few days of the calendar month, so that your health insurance will be paid through the end of the month.
(3) You must express that (a) you are not voluntarily resigning, but (b) forced to resign out of concern for your health; (c) describe the bad treatment you have endured, that you have escalated it without success, and (d) the bad effects it is having on your health.
(4) Make sure it is 100% respectful, as if your grandmother will read it.

If you would like to obtain a Model Involuntary Resignation Letter, that you can adapt to use for your own letter, simply [click here].

In doing this, you are being respectful and responsible, you are probably preserving your right to collect unemployment insurance benefits, you are increasing the probability that your health insurance will continue at least for a few weeks, you are preserving your rights to later make a claim for severance or a legal claim, and you are “making a history” of what happened, if anyone wants to know exactly what happened, including a prospective employer. You are also preserving your own dignity, despite the uncivil way you are being treated, for which you can hold your head up high. That, to me, is worth a lot.

Best to you. Hope this helps.
Al Sklover

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