Resigning Under Duress
Anything you submit to your Human Resources department is supposed to be treated as confidential. Your resignation letter is not for outside consumption. It should not be given to nor discussed with any potential employers—-under any circumstances.
If your company does attempt to give you intentional and negative employment references, as a way to continue to retaliate against you, this amounts to “blacklisting.” And, this practice will expose your employer to potential legal jeopardy. Having worked in Human Resources, I know that many employers do not like to provide any information to other employers, other than salary, title, and date of hire and termination. This is because employers have been successfully sued in the past (or had to spend a lot of money hiring attorneys to fight lawsuits) for maligning previous employees to potential employers.
So, when you are composing your resignation letter, think of how you can briefly state your real reasons for leaving the company. Briefly address that you were being harassed, that you were the victim of an offensive work environment, etc. in your resignation letter. Otherwise, your employers may use a copy of a your resignation letter against you (in court or with an investigator) and they may claim that you did not raise any issues with them during your employment. If you made internal complaints, then make sure that you document this in your resignation letter. Just briefly state the facts, along with the fact that nothing was done or that the solution offered by the company was ineffective or retaliatory.
When you are leaving your company under terrible circumstances, you may believe that you are going to leave the horrors behind you…that you will just walk away and forget the whole thing. But, you may change your mind about pursuing alternative methods for resolving illegal activity by your employer. Think about that, as you prepare your resignation letter. As you write it, try to be unemotional, professional, and to the point! You are simply documenting facts.