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Mid Term Review time
Old 08-26-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Mid Term Review time

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.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:23 PM   #2
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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.
Sounds like they are building a case to fire you. What happens after the final probation? OTOH 99 weeks of unemployment is a pretty good severance IMO just might be hard to get if fired or quit.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:45 PM   #3
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Sounds like they are building a case to fire you. What happens after the final probation? OTOH 99 weeks of unemployment is a pretty good severance IMO just might be hard to get if fired or quit.
Thanks for the response. If one is fired due to "non-performance", are you saying you would be ineligible for unemployment?
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response. If one is fired due to "non-performance", are you saying you would be ineligible for unemployment?
In CT if you are fired you must have a hearing (your state law may differ) in which each side states their case. They then make a decision as to your eligibility to collect. This is why they are documenting everything. If it comes to this I would suggest consulting an employment lawyer so you don't blow it at the hearing. Money well spent IMO. Also if you are old and they replace you with someone younger you may have an age discrimination case. They are however hard to prove.

Disclaimer: I could be wrong on this.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #5
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If it comes to that, in many cases a company will tell you that they will not contest an unemployment claim, especially if it avoids getting an employment lawyer involved. Even if they are documenting a case to have a paper trail, they may prefer to take the easier, less contentious route of suggesting you are being let go for "lack of work" or some such. Depends somewhat on company policy and attitude. Do you know what approach they took with others before you?
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:48 AM   #6
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I would strongly suggest consulting an employment attorney. Companies will often sweeten severance packages in order to avoid a lawsuit, which even if they win can be very costly. A good attorney may be able to negotiate a decent severance package for you and may be able to guide you on your unemployment benefits options.

Alternatively, even if you get put on probation, can you do a good job, turn things around and avoid getting fired? Or would you rather just leave at this point?
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
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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.
I didn't hear anything that sounds like the company is at fault here. The most reasonable thing to do is to quit. Your other option is to continue with your plan to get fired so you can get unemployment compensation. Just make sure your pension and HC is guaranteed if you get yourself fired.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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First of all is this really how you want to leave a situation?

Also be sure to check your state laws. In my deep red state of TN if you are fired it means no unemployment. Also for the company I use to work for if you were fired you could not keep your health benefits into retirement. Just had a friend there fired at 55 who was eligible to retire at 55 with health benefits lose them this way. He was not even offered the option to resign and keep them.

I live in what is called a right to work state which means they can fire you for any and NO reason and you lose all at that point so make sure you know your States employment laws.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:49 AM   #9
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Echoing what other have said, being "terminated for cause" (AKA "fired") in some states makes you ineligible for unemployment insurance. Better check the laws where you live before trying to game the system.
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:03 AM   #10
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Just ask them to lay you off. Even if you don't get a severance, you'll get unemployment. It is a win/win - they don't have to go through the process or worry about litigation and you get unemployment out of it, and don't have to water down your principles along the way.

Personally, I couldn't accept payment for intentionally sub-standard work.
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Old 08-27-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
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So, you worked for a Company for 20 years and, now, want them to pay you to go away. And you are asking for our approval. I say dance with the one who brung you or get a new partner... but do it cleanly (take the high road).
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Old 08-27-2010, 01:24 PM   #12
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I'm a lawyer and deal with this situation often. Unless you have done something criminal or near-criminal, it's a rare employer who won't allow you to resign in lieu of termination and agree not to contest unemployment compensation in exchange for you agreeing to waive any and all claims arising out of your employment and separation. Even my most hard-nosed law enforcement employer clients realize that this is generally the win-win solution since there is rarely a "100% legally clean" separation in the minefield that employment law has become. Of course, whether you should waive any and all claims is something that you might want to discuss with an employment lawyer to whom you can describe your precise situation.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #13
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Just ask them to lay you off. Even if you don't get a severance, you'll get unemployment. It is a win/win - they don't have to go through the process or worry about litigation and you get unemployment out of it, and don't have to water down your principles along the way.

Personally, I couldn't accept payment for intentionally sub-standard work.
Note it is not a case of "intentionally sub-standard work". For nineteen of my years at this company, I received excellent reviews. New mgmt comes in after a restructuring and all of a sudden, I can't doing anything right. Note some of my "older" colleagues are in the same boat (but they go along with the drill more easily than I do). This is not uncommon with megacorps.

Had my review, as predicted it was not good but no written warning. Manager made some comments to me which were uncalled for but I kept my cool. Might just take the high road real soon and resign (retire).

Anyhow thanks for the responses.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:46 PM   #14
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My DH went through a similar progression. After 2 years of slow torture he finally was told that his contract was not renewed. Same type of thing where he was a respected and valued employee for 20 years and then all of a sudden he can't do anything right and neither can any of his cohorts in his age range. He was the last of about 6 or 7 who have been eliminated in the past few years.

He was a public employee in a county social service agency with a superintendent overseen by a board. If they want to fire you they have to find cause and justify it to the board. To avoid the board they progressively document all your shortcomings and offenses and then they have a reason to not renew the yearly contract.

DH saw it coming and we prepared, buying back previously cashed-out years of service and then we hunkered down and saved as much as we could until it finally happened in Jan, 2010.

He was eligible to retire with a COLA-ed pension so that's what we did. He's been officially retired since June, 2010 and we are doing just fine. He's so glad to be away from the horrible atmosphere at work and he's getting used to his new life. Most days he's pretty relaxed and normal, some days he just has to giggle.

More details about his situation if you are interested -
DH's job not renewed. He's RETIRING!!

Good luck with your decision, there is life after the crap.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:13 PM   #15
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My DH went through a similar progression. After 2 years of slow torture he finally was told that his contract was not renewed. Same type of thing where he was a respected and valued employee for 20 years and then all of a sudden he can't do anything right and neither can any of his cohorts in his age range. He was the last of about 6 or 7 who have been eliminated in the past few years.

He was a public employee in a county social service agency with a superintendent overseen by a board. If they want to fire you they have to find cause and justify it to the board. To avoid the board they progressively document all your shortcomings and offenses and then they have a reason to not renew the yearly contract.

DH saw it coming and we prepared, buying back previously cashed-out years of service and then we hunkered down and saved as much as we could until it finally happened in Jan, 2010.

He was eligible to retire with a COLA-ed pension so that's what we did. He's been officially retired since June, 2010 and we are doing just fine. He's so glad to be away from the horrible atmosphere at work and he's getting used to his new life. Most days he's pretty relaxed and normal, some days he just has to giggle.

More details about his situation if you are interested -
DH's job not renewed. He's RETIRING!!

Good luck with your decision, there is life after the crap.
Thanks for the response. I'm glad it turned out great for you and your hubby.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:22 PM   #16
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Note it is not a case of "intentionally sub-standard work". For nineteen of my years at this company, I received excellent reviews. New mgmt comes in after a restructuring and all of a sudden, I can't doing anything right. Note some of my "older" colleagues are in the same boat (but they go along with the drill more easily than I do). This is not uncommon with megacorps.

Had my review, as predicted it was not good but no written warning. Manager made some comments to me which were uncalled for but I kept my cool. Might just take the high road real soon and resign (retire).

Anyhow thanks for the responses.
Glad you didn't get a written warning. Since you are close to FI anyhow and clearly burned out. I see no harm in letting your boss know next time there are rumors of a RIF coming that you are ok with them letting you go.

It is quite possible that the new management is just setting the ground work for layoffs.
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:56 PM   #17
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since there is rarely a "100% legally clean" separation in the minefield that employment law has become
I worked at a mega corp where I basically was the go to manager for everyone they wanted to fire in the department. A big part of it was that I was always very careful to consult with the legal department every step of the way and kept painstaking detailed records.

Some of the other managers were not as careful and in one case I think it cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars. (The guy's wife was an employment attorney.) In another case it was tens of thousands of dollars.

So if you think you still might be on the road to being put on probation or getting fired, you really may have more leverage than you think. Companies hate employment law suits because when it goes to a jury logic doesn't always prevail so it is kind of a wild card for companies and most will do quite a bit to avoid even the possibility of a lawsuit. Especially if you are older and have a history of good reviews.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:54 PM   #18
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Note it is not a case of "intentionally sub-standard work". For nineteen of my years at this company, I received excellent reviews. New mgmt comes in after a restructuring and all of a sudden, I can't doing anything right. Note some of my "older" colleagues are in the same boat (but they go along with the drill more easily than I do). This is not uncommon with megacorps.

Had my review, as predicted it was not good but no written warning. Manager made some comments to me which were uncalled for but I kept my cool. Might just take the high road real soon and resign (retire).

Anyhow thanks for the responses.
Golfnut,
I thought I read that in your initial post. Apologies.
Like others have said, you have a good amount of leverage. Ask for a package. If you're going to quit anyway, ask. Then ask your manager's manager, and then upwards from there. What are they going to do? fire you?
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:18 PM   #19
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Had my review, as predicted it was not good but no written warning. Manager made some comments to me which were uncalled for but I kept my cool.
Anyhow thanks for the responses.
This was a very wise move.
The best thing I ever did was learn to let them do the talking, have their mickey mouse say, sign the paper and get the hell out of the room as quickly as possible.
Its a tough lesson but I think the best policy in most cases.
My intent and focus became retiring. For the last 7 or 8 years I didn't care if I got a raise or not. Didn't mean anything to me. My goal was set and my eyes were on getting out.
Nothing else mattered to me.
It was actually liberating to sit through an evaluation knowing the joke was on the clown doing the E-val.
I was going to be leaving them in the hell hole and BS they loved and lived in.
The last supervisor was shocked when I pulled the rip chord. I gave almost zero notice and took several vacation days to ride out what little I had to give. I had planned my exit for years and years and it played out beautifully.
Like the old show " The A Team"
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:35 PM   #20
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I'm a lawyer and deal with this situation often. Unless you have done something criminal or near-criminal, it's a rare employer who won't allow you to resign in lieu of termination and agree not to contest unemployment compensation in exchange for you agreeing to waive any and all claims arising out of your employment and separation. Even my most hard-nosed law enforcement employer clients realize that this is generally the win-win solution since there is rarely a "100% legally clean" separation in the minefield that employment law has become. Of course, whether you should waive any and all claims is something that you might want to discuss with an employment lawyer to whom you can describe your precise situation.
Runner, you hit the nail on the head. Was given a "60 Day Performance Improvement Plan" today. Did not sign it. Told HR and my manager, I need to mull it over. Basically, if I do not meet the performance criteria set forth in the plan, employment can be terminated between now and 11/15. I could also resign and get paid thru 11/15. Not sure if accrued PTO days would be added on after the 11/15 date. Guess I better ask.

What is interesting is my performance rating is a 2 out of five. 2 means periodically meets requirements. We were previously advised that this is not considered a bad rating.

TooFrugal, you responded as follows:

So if you think you still might be on the road to being put on probation or getting fired, you really may have more leverage than you think. Companies hate employment law suits because when it goes to a jury logic doesn't always prevail so it is kind of a wild card for companies and most will do quite a bit to avoid even the possibility of a lawsuit. Especially if you are older and have a history of good reviews.

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)??


Guess the silver lining here is my miniscule noncolad pension and retiree subsidized hc will not be adversely affected.


By the way, thanks for all the feedback so far.

Golfnut
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