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Old 09-14-2010, 12:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by golfnut View Post
I had good reviews for 19 out of 20 years.
It may be too personal to ask, but what happened to break this very long string of good reviews? Was it some personal calamity? Or just some kind of corporate mess around?

I am not lawyer, but it would seem that if you plan to speak to a lawyer, don't tip off your employers. It cannot be done in a way that will not immediately turn you into an enemy. Find out from the expert where you stand, and then act in accordance with his suggestions to maximize your outcome, or at least minimize the negative possibilities.

Ha
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
It may be too personal to ask, but what happened to break this very long string of good reviews? Was it some personal calamity? Or just some kind of corporate mess around?

I am not lawyer, but it would seem that if you plan to speak to a lawyer, don't tip off your employers. It cannot be done in a way that will not immediately turn you into an enemy. Find out from the expert where you stand, and then act in accordance with his suggestions to maximize your outcome, or at least minimize the negative possibilities.

Ha
Thanks for the response. As expected, today my manager asked me for the signed improvement plan. I advised him that I am seeking legal counsel prior to signing it. I also called an attorney to discuss the situation.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:23 PM   #23
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So sorry to hear about this; too often employers find convenient ways to terminate perfectly acceptable employees right before they can retire. I worked in our state dept of labor and adjudicated unemployment claims and saw cases just like yours and much much worse regularly. It is sickening...
You are wise to contact your attorney; you also (I hope) should have your personnel records copied and in your possession and any other emails and letters you think would be good to have (much of that info will be good to have if only to prove that you should receive unemployment if it comes to that). Once you tell an employer you are contacting an attorney they can and usually do lock up all records that you may have. You could even be escorted from the building so make sure you have everything you need. At this point you have to suck it up, act confident and be very very tough. Be on the lookout for signs that they want to negotiate. Be friendly but firm. Hang in there; keep smiling and act like you don't have a care in the world. It isn't easy but you can be successful; my spouse went through a similar situation. We went through hell for over a year responding to written accusations and so forth...finally he was able to cut a deal and life has been good. He has a couple years to go to retire but he will do it with full benefits and once you go through the fire, they usually leave you alone. Management was required, as part of the deal, to clear his files of all the paper they had put in there. Good luck and hang in there; this will pass.
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Old 09-14-2010, 11:12 PM   #24
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How do I do I let the company know that I will be addressing this with an attorney in a non-threatening fashion? I had good reviews for 19 out of 20 years. Would it be worthwhile to go back to them and ask for a 6 month package and I will resign immediately (since I am an old guy)??
I have been on both sides of the 60 day plan many times as a manager and once on the other side working with a close friend. In the friend case, we interviewed several employment attorneys. Some said take the severance being offered and run since it wasn't legally mandatory, but one was very sharp, experienced and aggressive. We got the private fax number of the CEO from an inside friend and faxed a law suit threat directly to the CEO's personal fax machine with the specifics - age, years of good reviews, etc.

It turned out pretty cool. My friend got quite a nice settlement and the manager that did the firing got fired himself over the whole fiasco. He did not have a paper trail and my friend had just gotten a good review from a different manager which included a generous performance bonus.

My friend did the same thing as you - refused to sign the document offered until she could consult with an attorney. Her attorney then sent the fax which got their attention and he then negotiated the much improved severance offer. Her old manager getting fired was just icing on the cake for her. Though her manager delayed his firing for months by going out on a stress disability.

On the manager side, I have to tell you that by the time employees were put on a plan it was usually just a formality and most did in fact end up either quitting during the 60 days or were fired at the end of it.

I only have experience with this one megacorp so other companies may not be as willing to deal on the severance issue. But in any event I think a serious situation like this is something I think you are right to consult an attorney over.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:27 AM   #25
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Consulting an employment lawyer in this situation is absolutely what needs to be done. A lot depends on your states employment laws. Are you in a "right to work" state or not? Have any of your civil liberties been breached? There are also "wrongful termination" laws. As others have said here, employment laws are a minefield but no company likes to have a suit brought against them. I had a similar situation but mine was no megacorp. It was a small incorporated family business. I was Vice President and a family member! Still...I had a greedy sister who went after me (wanted all the perks for herself and her family) actually hiring outside consultants to wear me down and help her "facilitate" me out (took years to wear me down). When I finally realized my back was against the wall (took my mothers death and quite a while for it to sink in) , I went to an employment lawyer. I will tell you what they told me. Absolutely DO NOT QUIT! Do NOT SIGN anything without your lawyer looking at it...etc. I hired a mediator who happened to also be a lawyer...and was able to negotiate a deferred comp package that was voted on and accepted by our board. Once or IF you decide to fight...fight with all you have! I hope you have kept good documentation! And I hope you have given them no real reason to fire you. Good luck to you!
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:49 PM   #26
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Probably talk to one or more attornies first, find the one who seems to have the style you like, and ask him/her about the best way to address it.

I saw a similar situation coming at my company. Fortunately for me, my immediate supervisor didn't change and he prevented the worst situation.

If I were trying to do this without hiring an attorney, I'd say exactly what you've told us. "I haven't hired an attorney yet, but I see a pattern of older workers with many years of good performance reviews suddenly becoming poor performers. My guess is that you just want to start with a fresh crop of younger workers. Why not take the high road and offer us decent severence packages?"
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #27
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Should be getting my review any day now and it probably won't be a good one! If I look in the mirror, I probably serve it. Bottom line, I cannot stand my job and I'm almost FI . I have over 20 years with the Company and eligible for a small pension and subsidized HC. I wish there was a tactful way of asking for a severance package to get the hell out of Dodge. Got a strong feeling I will be put on written warning (which usually last 30 days) and finally probation (another 30 days). Rather not go thru this process.

Anyone got some suggestions. Note I do not want to resign since I plan on collecting unemployment. I do have my resume out there but jobs aren't too plentiful.
While somewhat sympathetic to the situation, we are only getting one side of the story here. golfnut acknowledged he hasn't done everything correctly, not to say the company has either. but I can't help to ask, was golfnut's performance truly in line with past performance? or was this the situation he wanted in the first place? i doubt we will hear anything from him since he is most likely under advisement of a lawyer.

just trying to sort through the details before starting to claim being turned into newts and weighing the parties to a duck.
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