Forced To Resign Because I Reported Unsafe Work Conditions

Employees have both a duty and a right to report unsafe work conditions. However, because reporting such conditions can result in negative consequences for an employer, some employers ignore the law and retaliate against whistleblowers.

One way they might do so is by pressuring whistleblowers to resign. You may have a wrongful termination case if this has happened to you.

What is Forced Resignation?

Forced resignation involves an employee voluntarily agreeing to leave a job due to pressure from their employer. Sometimes, forced resignation serves to benefit an employee.

For instance, their employer may need to let them go, but may also realize that firing them could have a negative impact on their future employment prospects. In this situation, an employer might suggest that an employee resign to avoid a firing.

However, sometimes employers know they’d be breaking the law if they were to fire an employee for reporting unsafe work conditions. They might thus attempt to protect themselves by pressuring a whistleblower to resign instead. This is still a form of wrongful termination.

What is Retaliation?

Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer takes some form of negative action against an employee who has exercised their legal rights in a manner their employer is unhappy with.

Although laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibit workplace retaliation, it still happens across numerous industries.

Targets of workplace retaliation often include whistleblowers. Although retaliation may be blatant if an employer fires a qualified worker because they reported unsafe work conditions, some employees may be forced to resign so an employer looks less guilty.

For example, an employer might make work conditions unbearable for an employee by:

  • Assigning them undesirable tasks or shifts
  • Not supporting their growth
  • Generally treating them less kindly than other workers

Those are just a few examples. Just remember, even if you voluntarily left a job, if you did so because you felt forced to resign, your employer may be guilty of wrongful termination.

What To Do If You’re Forced To Resign As a Whistleblower

You can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) if you’ve been forced to resign because you were a whistleblower. Gather evidence to present with your claim by:

  • Keeping a detailed log of instances of unfair treatment after you reported unsafe work conditions
  • Saving emails, chat logs, and other documentation and forms of correspondence that may be relevant to your case
  • Keeping a list of the names and contact information of potential witnesses

Strongly consider meeting with a wrongful termination and forced resignation attorney when taking legal action. They may be able to help you build the strongest case possible.

Get Help With Your Forced Resignation Claim

OSHA statistics indicate whistleblower complaints are somewhat common in the U.S. Perhaps you’ve been a victim because an employer forced you to resign when you drew attention to unsafe conditions in the workplace.

A lawyer may help you seek justice if this has happened. For more information, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.


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