I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
If the hostile environment you are referring to was based on your race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity----then yes, you should advise the employer of the specific reason that you are resigning.
If the reason for the resignation is not a hostile environment based on race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, then there is little reason to specify your reason for resigning. Simply suggesting that you are leaving for health reasons is sufficient, and should avoid any animosity by the employer.
If you do believe that you have been harassed or discriminated against based on your race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, you might consider also filing a formal complaint with a government agency tasked with enforcement of discrimination laws.
Workplace harassment/discrimination is any unwelcome or unwanted conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or an aversion toward another person on the basis of any characteristic protected by law, which includes an individual's race, color, gender, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other personal characteristic protected by law. A conduct is considered unwelcome if the employee did not solicit, instigate or provoke it, and the employee regards the conduct as undesirable or offensive.
In CA you have two possible avenues of approach to dealing with discrimination. If your goal is to ultimately sue in Federal Court, then you will file a complaint with the EEOC, and if you want to be in the CA Superior Court---local to your county---then you will file with the DFEH and, if you want to, with the EEOC as well. You must file a formal complaint of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory act, and within one year for the CA DFEH.
You may a formal complaint with the CA Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging discrimination.
To do this you must first make an appointment with the Department to be interviewed, either over the phone or at a local DFEH office. You may call the DFEH at 800-884-1684, or apply on line by using the Department’s "Online Appointment System." The system will guide you through questions to determine whether an appointment is right for you.
Alternatively, you may file a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). If your company has 15 or more employees (the DFEH only requires that there be 5 or more employees), they are prohibited from discriminating against you. To file a complaint with the EEOC, contact the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office. To be automatically connected with the nearest office, call (800) 669-4000. EEOC website: www.eeoc.gov
Federal law specifically prohibits discrimination, based upon the Ethnicity, Color, Religion, National Origin, Age, Sex and Disability of an individual, with regard to hiring, promotion and firing.
After you file the complaint, your employer will be prohibited from any retaliatory action against you. The EEOC will investigate your claim, and 180 days after the filing of the complaint you may ask for a "right to sue letter". The EEOC will issue you the letter which gives you the right to institute a private civil action against your employer and seek monetary damages.
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I wish you the best in 2013,