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How quitting your job can affect a discrimination claim

Discrimination continues to be a concern in the workplace. Not only is it illegal to treat someone negatively because of their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker who complains about such behavior. Yet retaliation happens.

When faced with this situation, it is tempting to quit your job. If you want to pursue legal action against the employer however, there are options.

What you can do instead of quitting

If you have been the target of discrimination at work, notify your employer of the behavior. File a written complaint with human resources or your supervisor and get confirmation that the company received your complaint.

The company may choose to correct the issue. If your employer doesn’t correct the issue, you could experience some of these responses:

  • The company doesn’t investigate
  • They begin treating you differently to make you quit
  • They threaten you
  • They demote you
  • They continue to allow the problematic behavior

These may be considered illegal retaliatory actions. It means your discrimination case potentially becomes a retaliation case as well.

Why quitting matters

If you’ve filed a complaint with the employer and nothing has improved, it’s time to contact a lawyer. Document everything, save all communications, and keep records of any retaliatory behavior. All of this may be helpful when pursuing a retaliation lawsuit.

Retaliation can be easier to prove than discrimination; it’s typically easier to prove you notified the company of the issue, and your employer did nothing to address it – or tried to punish you for reporting it.

Opting to quit can make the legal case more difficult, and it may result in you giving up some or all of your rights. From a legal perspective, it is best not to quit, but you must do what’s best for you, your family, and your wellbeing.

How to take action

If you have been illegally discriminated against or retaliated against, contact a lawyer who is experienced in this area of the law.

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