Has your job become unbearable? Are you being harassed and bullied at work? Sometimes quitting can be the right solution, but it is important to do it in the right way in order to protect your legal rights.
Writing an effective resignation letter
Dealing with an uncomfortable workplace can be difficult. Most people would agree that it’s not the work, but the co-workers, that make the job. What happens when your workplace has become hostile or impossible to continue working in?
Drafting a resignation letter is not as simple as writing your name and “I quit”. There are guidelines to resignation letters, and tips to ensure that you maintain your professional relationships with past employers. Very small wording difference can mean a great deal in terms of being eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) and potentially being able to go after your employer for severance pay after quitting.
In cases where an employee has been harassed or discriminated against, writing a resignation letter and maintaining professionalism can be difficult.
If you are thinking of quitting your job you should always contact an employment lawyer today. However, if you don’t have the time or are merely interested, the rest of this blog post goes into some of the necessary detail regarding resignation letters.
Recommended contents of a resignation letter
Despite the fact that you’ve had a negative experience with your employer, it is important to remain professional in your resignation letter. Your resignation letter should essentially be grouped into three sections:
-What has happened (Why you can no longer remain in that work environment)
-How it has affected you
-Your notice of resignation
Say for instance you were discriminated against at work because of your sexual orientation. This is what your resignation letter would essentially look like:
Dear Ms. Doe,
While working for ABC Company I have been subjected to numerous comments and actions which can only be described as discriminatory towards me and other individuals who are in same sex relationships.
While I have enjoyed working for this company, the harassment and discrimination has become unbearable. I would ask that preventative and positive measures be implemented immediately in order to stop this behaviour. I would be willing to return to work once appropriate assurances are put in place regarding my physical and emotional safety. However, until such measures are in place I cannot in good conscience attend at an unsafe work environment and therefore will stay at home.
I would ask that appropriate measures be taken within two weeks or I will deem your refusal to be a constructive dismissal and act accordingly.
If you were discriminated against, and essentially ‘forced’ out of your job as a result of that discrimination and/or harassment, you may have a case for constructive dismissal. While a lawyer would not typically recommend resignation as a solution, it is sometimes necessary due to the emotional damages associated with continued employment within a hostile work environment.
How a lawyer may be able to assist you
— Obtaining damages for harassment as well as violations of the Human Rights Code
— Achieving a legal remedy which is appropriate to your situation (for example having you reinstated in a different location)
— Maximizing your chances of entitlement to EI (potential benefit of up to $17,000) by negotiating your exit from your employer.
It is best to talk to a lawyer specializing in employment law if you find yourself in a hostile workplace. Learn more about our team or contact us for a free 30 minute phone consultation.