“If I submit an Involuntary Resignation, and mention specific things that happened to me, can my employer make a claim or start a lawsuit against me?”
Published on September 26th, 2010 by Alan L Sklover
Question: I would like to resign from my large corporate employer in what you call on your blogsite an “Involuntary Resignation,” which seems to me to be my best way out.
My Involuntary Resignation would make reference to a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and reverse discrimination because my being “American” and “White” were constantly referred to in a derogatory way by my manager, who is from France and my HR Director, who is an African American.
I have also been treated in a retaliatory way, because after I reported a subordinate was physically assaultive to me, my boss and the HR Director became even more harassing.
If I include specific descriptions of what happened, naming names and dates, can the company or any of these people take action against me, in a lawsuit or other way?
Also, can I sue the company after I “Involuntarily Resign?”
New York, New York
Answer: Stephanie, your questions are good ones. We are having more and more blog visitors write in with interest and questions about “Involuntary Resignation.” I think your two questions will be of help to many.
First, Be Respectful: As I often say, everything you write should be respectful and reasonable. It’s the first rule of communication.
Second, Be Specific: Your written Involuntary Resignation needs to be specific as to facts, events, circumstances, names, dates and other relevant information. Without specificity, you will have little credibility.
Third, Be Confidential: You should place “Confidential” at the top of each page, to show that you took steps to limit the people who see your memo to those who had a need to receive it.
Fourth, I Have Never Seen an Employer Strike Back: I have never heard of any company that sued or raised any kind of claims against an employee who sent in an Involuntary Resignation, and I cannot imagine what claims could be raised for your doing so.
Fifth, A Defamation Claim Could Arise, But Unlikely: It is always possible that a person who you allege said or did certain things could claim that you “defamed” them, that is, made false statements about them that harmed their reputation. The first defense to any such claim would be “truth.” In all states I am familiar with, the law of defamation also makes reports like the one you consider in your Involuntary Resignation exempt from such claims. That being said, a person can always try to do such a thing, even if they fail in the end.
As to your question, “Can I sue my employer after I leave by way of an Involuntary Resignation?” the answer is “Yes.” In fact, that is one of the primary advantages of an Involuntary Resignation: it makes a record of what happened, and preserves your right to sue, if a reasonable resolution is not achieved by other means.
If you’re interested in obtaining a Model Involuntary Resignation Letter, for your adaptation and use, simply [click here].
Really good questions. Thanks for writing in. Hope you’ll consider Subscribing – It’s Free.
Best, Al Sklover
© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.