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Better to get fired? Laid off? Just retire?
Old 01-20-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
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Better to get fired? Laid off? Just retire?

Is there some scenario where I could get unemployment when I want to go?

Let's abandon ethics at this point and just speak hypothetically.

I will pick ethics back up after considering the possibilities....
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:25 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if it varies state to state, but here, you would have to be laid off to be eligible for unemployment insurance.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:38 PM   #3
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I collected a dollar or two unemployment once when I got laid off by an action I took. You can't get fired "with cause", like drinking on the job or getting caught watching porn.

In my case, they hired me with the promise that there would be no more than 40% travel. It was up to me to manage that with my clients, and I did that for years by working remotely and travelling Monday and Thursday.

The company came to me and said the client liked my work, they asked me back, but had a tight timeline and wanted me there 8am Monday through 5pm Friday for 10 weeks. I just said "I'm not your man unless you get it to somewhere near 40%, or you make me a bonus offer". While they were trying to work up a bonus deal for me, the client hired another company's coder. My boss then showed me the door (and that wasn't a complete surprise to me...I knew I was on very thin ice since the size of the company decreased by 60% in the 12 months preceding).
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:21 PM   #4
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I volunteered for a conveniently timed RIF (Reduction In Force, I believe). Thus technically I was laid off, with severance, and eligible for unemployment. Ethics schmethics, you bet I applied for it. 6 months worth. Which, luck would have it, brought me right up to the day I could begin collecting my pension. Sweet.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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Guess I'm old school and think that getting fired is a black mark on one's employment record.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:47 PM   #6
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This state you can only get it for being laid off. I'm not sure the folks RIFed at Megacorp were able to claim, but that may have been some legal hole Megacorp took advantage of; if you want severance sign this.

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Old 01-20-2015, 06:49 PM   #7
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I think mostly being fired or retiring would be the same monetarily. No unemployment, no severance. The latter allows you to pick the date the former does not.

Being laid off would likely come with a package and the possibility of collecting UI though IIRC you need to be actively looking (or look like you are looking ;-) ) for work.

I would love to be laid off in the next couple of months since I would probably get a package that would be maybe 10-20weeks of pay. But sadly I don't see that happening even though I haven't said I will be retiring (just in case).
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:52 PM   #8
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Be careful what you wish for. Especially if you're posting from the office, you may find yourself in the unemployment line sooner than later.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:15 PM   #9
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Many at my Megacorp try to play the RIF game to maximize their severance. Sometimes it works well and folks get to retire on their chosen date with up to 6 months of extra pay (plus accumulated sick and vacation time and a bit of unemployment insurance from the state).

Sometimes, though, I've seen folks so dedicated to getting this extra bump that they've worked for years extra just waiting for their golden RIF-ticket. One friend held out until he was a very tired 68 years old. Got his RIF, but I don't think it was worth the price. You have to decide whether this is worth it for you.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:35 PM   #10
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Find a company that is laying folks off, and get hired by them. Hopefully they will continue the cycle and end up laying you off too.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:02 PM   #11
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I wished I could have been RIF'd. I would have been eligible for 6 months pay. Retired plain and simple. No regrets.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:17 AM   #12
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Guess I'm old school and think that getting fired is a black mark on one's employment record.
Unless they engrave it on your tombstone, such marks have no significance once you're retired. Lying, cheating, and deceiving, by contrast, are black marks on one's integrity. That has significance once you're retired.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:10 AM   #13
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Unless they engrave it on your tombstone, such marks have no significance once you're retired. Lying, cheating, and deceiving, by contrast, are black marks on one's integrity. That has significance once you're retired.
+1

Being fired is very dependent on your organization but more so on your immediate supervisor. I've been fired or forced to resign a few times. In every case it was a prelude to organizational upheaval that always managed to get rid of my former boss. I've never been good at quietly going along in a bad situation. If I saw "wrong" being done, I have been very outspoken. That isn't usually appreciated in corporate America.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:21 AM   #14
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Is there some scenario where I could get unemployment when I want to go?

Let's abandon ethics at this point and just speak hypothetically.

I will pick ethics back up after considering the possibilities....
I've never heard of any state that will give unemployment to someone that was terminated for cause or that resigned. That leaves you with being laid off. Some companies are more liberal with allowing someone to volunteer to be laid off. Their unemployment tax level is determined by how much unemployment insurance is paid to former employees so it costs them money.

If your company provides a path to voluntary lay off, take it. You can look for work but when you are ready to retire it would have to be an outstanding position at a great salary to get you back in the workforce.

It's obvious there will be lay offs where I am. It would be unlikely I would be able to find another position that pays as much for the next 6 months. Texas tops out unemployment at $468/wk so if I hung in there I might be able to get about $12k in unemployment. I'd lose $4k in taxes so I'd net $8k. I didn't think that was worth waiting for an indeterminate period of time to volunteer. There are no severance packages here so the financial temptation is kept low.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:09 AM   #15
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I used to run the unemployment cases for a Federal agency. The requirements vary somewhat from state to state but the general rule is that you don't qualify for unemployment if you are fired for cause. But just because your employer says they fired you doesn't mean they had cause. If you believe they are sticking it to you (e.g. firing you for not doing something like travel that you were promised would not be required as mentioned above) appeal. The employer will have to produce evidence that they are right. In some locations (DC comes to mind) the appeals process is heavily in your favor. In many cases, companies don't have an effective process to document their actions and to respond to appeals. In that case you win by default. My recollections are from 25 years ago so things may have changed but knowing government programs I doubt it.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:17 AM   #16
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Just for another perspective: here in Switzerland as an employee you pay into an insurance program that covers unemployment. If you are fired, laid off or quit, you can apply for the benefit. In the case of quitting you just have to wait a bit longer for the benefit to start. You get 70-80% of your salary (based on family size) for up to two years. Then, it's done. Also, you are considered to be "employed" by the agency that is "paying you" and must show diligient efforts to find a new job. You are even assigned a fixed number of "vacation days". I have resigned my position as of mid-July this year. I don't want any part of this new form of "employment" where some bureaucrats are monitoring me, even with the rather high monetary gain. But it works well for those who lose their jobs. Not many here -- about 3% unemployment rate.

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Old 01-21-2015, 06:19 AM   #17
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But just because your employer says they fired you doesn't mean they had cause. If you believe they are sticking it to you (e.g. firing you for not doing something like travel that you were promised would not be required as mentioned above) appeal. The employer will have to produce evidence that they are right.
I have never had one of the people I terminated succeed in an appeal but most tried. One went for an EEOC age discrimination claim that went nowhere. Documentation is the key to success.

I was not blood thirsty. I felt that a person's job/career was so importatnt that I would not terminate someone that didn't justify that extreme action. I honestly tried to rehabilitate everyone except thieves and repeated substance abusers. Most of the managers I worked with were not that way. I was amazed how many fired people on whims. Something pissed them off and the employee was gone. A few times it was me.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:43 AM   #18
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I was one of those people that hoped for a RIF with severance for a few years before I threw in the towel. It would have been sweet to get some severance cash - but it didn't happen. In the meantime I kept saving, reducing my expenses, and RE prepping. After surviving significant layoffs over the past 7 years of my career (economic downturn combined with a corporate split, acquisition, spinoff that all generated 10-20% reductions EACH) I realized I was never going to get the golden handshake.

That hanging around waiting for a RIF allowed me to do more prep and reach the nest egg that made firecalc, cfiresim, fidelity RIP, financial engines, yada-yada-yada all bless the ability to quit and not look back.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:08 AM   #19
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Guess I'm old school and think that getting fired is a black mark on one's employment record.
I have an "old school" work ethic but as far as firing/downsizing goes, sometimes it happens for reasons beyond your control. The current situation at Sprint is a good example; I have a friend there and they have mandated RIF targets, and the work of her entire department is now going to be "outsourced" to Accenture and some of the work will be done in India. You can argue that RIFs are rarely 100% of the workforce, but
the people who survive may be the top performers or they may be the best politicians or have special skillsets that are hard to find. It doesn't mean everyone who was let go was a poor performer.

And yes, I was the subject of a RIF once in my career. In retrospect, I'd let my skills get stagnant, and I learned from that, but it would have been nice if someone had coached me on that so I could have sought opportunities to upgrade my skills. Instead, I was one of the first bodies thrown out on the tarmac after they started downsizing prior to an IPO.

And please don't call it a "layoff" when the company really means "don't come back". A layoff is when work slows down at a factory and they need fewer workers, but calls them back when business picks up. That ain't gonna happen in Cubicleville.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:27 AM   #20
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I seem to be one of those guys who ****es off management.

I got fired "for cause" from 2 of my last 3 jobs. I filed for UI both times, and won.

In the first one, they never showed up at the appeal hearing, and I won just by being there.

In the second one, I was being serially harassed by my immediate supervisor and when things got really bad, I gave him some "pushback" and got fired. I had kept lots of documentation, and spent a lot of time and emotional energy preparing my case, even paid for half hour with a lawyer. But I won.

Turns out it was probably the HR manager who was asking the immediate supervisor to harass me. Interestingly, the HR manager got fired 2 weeks after I did. Never found out what the HR guy had against me....
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