If you are a current employee deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit against your current or former employer, it’s important to consult with an employment law attorney to determine whether or not the treatment you are being subjected to is unfair or unlawful.
However, there is a common mistake that employees make before filing a lawsuit that can diminish or even ruin the value of their claims. The biggest mistake a current employee can make is quitting your job. We can’t count the number of times someone called our law firm, described a workplace situation that violated a federal or state employment law, but then told us they quit their job or turned in their two-week notice. As far as we’re concerned, this is often the “kiss of death” for an otherwise valid discrimination or retaliation employment law claim.
It goes without saying, if your current job affects your physical or mental health to the point where you can’t perform your responsibilities, your health outweighs the job or lawsuit, and quitting is the correct decision. However, if you quit because of illegal mistreatment, and you could have afforded to stay, your employer wins on every level.
When you file a claim against your employer for unlawful workplace conduct, one of your employer’s biggest frustrations is seeing you show up to work every day. When you quit your job, you have solved your employer’s problem. You may also have lost much of your leverage. As long as you remain employed, often to the annoyance of your employer, you serve as a constant reminder to management and your co-workers that employees have rights and that you are willing to fight for yours. You are also privy to what is occurring in the workplace, and you still have access to your email and other forms of evidence. Plus, in the context of a lawsuit settlement, you can often negotiate your resignation for a more lucrative recovery.
If your employer is subjecting you to unlawful conduct and you’re contemplating taking legal action, chances are that you think about quitting on a daily basis. If possible, do not quit! Instead, contact our experienced North Carolina employment law team at 704-612-0038 to discuss your legal rights.