You Can Take It With You: Part I
1) You may decide that's it's time to move on and resign. You may want to leave for health reasons (stress, high blood pressure, etc.), for your sanity or for your future livelihood. It's always best to leave on your own terms--while retaining the option of pursuing actions that may help you vindicate your rights at a later time. Even if you leave your job, you can still seek the assistance of a lawyer and you still have the option of filing a formal complaint with an investigatory agency, such as the EEOC or Office of Human Rights for your county.
2) You may leave your job under even worse circumstances. You may be a target who is fired or laid off by your employer under false pretenses. Your employer may create "evidence" that shows they are justified in severing your employment with the company or they may pretend they don't have any work for you to do and make you a victim of the dreaded lay-off/reduction in force.
Regardless of why you are leaving your employment, you will need to take lots of information with you as evidence that will be helpful in case you decide to take action against your employer. It's important to have an idea of what information is important to have. Remember, once you leave the company, it will be nearly impossible to get a hold of anything you left behind. Your closest workplace friends will likely not want to make a copy of this that or the other--even if they love you to death. Most folks aren't going to risk their own employment for anyone else and they will fear retaliation if anyone knows they are helping you.
I've created two lists. The first I will share today and the second list will be posted tomorrow.
The first list is an accounting of some of the things you should take with you, if you have an outstanding complaint/grievance against your employer. Even if you have not officially filed an external complaint and do not know if you will pursue legal action, this is information you should take with you.
The second list includes some of the items that employees should ensure they have, even if they are leaving their job under the best/positive circumstances.
LIST #1: ITEMS TO TAKE IF YOU HAVE A WORK-RELATED GRIEVANCE
--A copy of your company’s personnel manual or, at the very least, the applicable sections that are germane to your case
--A copy of your company’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies
--A copy of any written warnings you’ve received, including performance deficiency memos or emails that are meant to document patterns of negative behavior or work performance
--A copy of your job description to show your official responsibilities (you can use the description to show how you may have been bogged down with many unofficial tasks that would ensure you failed to fulfill the requirements of your job)
--A copy of your timesheets
--A copy of the position for which you were seeking promotion or may/could have been promoted to fill
--A copy of performance reviews
--Memos and email that prove your case/claims
--A list of incidents that support your allegations of harassment, etc. (including dates/times)
--Organization charts that show the hierarchy at your company/of your department
--A list of superiors that you reported harassment, etc. to (including dates/times)
--A copy of congratulatory email/”thank you” email demonstrating that you did a good job performing your work
--Photos of any graffiti or racial slurs that were used to attack you
--Tape recordings of nasty/offensive voice mail messages
--Witness statements by those who witnessed harassment, etc. or, at the very least, a witness list of those who saw or heard things that happened to you
--Performance review guidelines that should have dictated how your review was composed and the appropriate evaluation standards for your position
--A copy of any email/memos you’ve sent to superiors or Human Resources complaining about mistreatment (include any responses received)
Check back tomorrow for list #2.