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Old 01-12-2015, 09:53 PM   #21
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Once the PIP is given, career in that company is pretty much over. No promotional opportunities or job transfers despite good performance thereafter. You may receive one or two offers from another department but later recanted without any specific reasons. It's a jungle - people are not very forgiving or willing to give you a chance - sigh! Time will not erase a bad record. It's best to leave ASAP. A severance package, if offered, is definitely a plus. Most people (under a PIP) do not receive one.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
One caution ....

Despite what others may lead you to believe, in employee vs management situation, employee rarely wins if at all. Something short of sexual and other harassment with witness who will back you up, it's not worth going all out against the management. Only dumb manager will make big enough mistake to shoot himself in the foot. Your best bet is to move on.
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It's best to leave ASAP. A severance package, if offered, is definitely a plus. Most people (under a PIP) do not receive one.
What they said.

Take the severance package and consider it a gift. Your past posts indicate you're in good shape to walk away and never have to work again.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:35 PM   #23
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36 years? I'm thinking why would one want to work longer?
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here's my take
Old 01-12-2015, 10:41 PM   #24
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here's my take

A good friend of mine, after 15 years with a megacorp, had a similar thing happen to her. 14 years of supervisory experience and with very good to excellent performance reviews, then the new boss from the corporate dark side showed up. da da doom. His take was that her team 'Liked her" that was not to be tolerated in the new regime. She just wasn't "tough" enough. I never saw two people so diametrically opposed; or lets say, two cats in a sack. Stressed to the point of breaking by the new overlord after 12 months of insane hours, objectives and duties; he finally dropped the PIP bomb on her. As others had stated, it's the proverbial kiss of death. The fat lady is singing , btw.

In her late-50's, she went to an attorney. No help there. He told her to sign it and she would not, there was no possible way for her to meet the PIP. He said he couldn't help her. Nice. All during the time her health was going downhill fast and once her doctor saw her and did some tests, he put her on medical leave. She was out about 7 months, all the while weighing her options and trying to get better. Worn to a frazzle.


There's a happy ending, she got a new job once she recovered a bit, better pay and saner folks to work with, in a competing firm. Now, they are kicking her old megacorp's butt in the marketplace. Turnover at the old company is at record levels and office closures are being planned, we're hearing on the grapevine. And she never did sign that PIP; though, I did see her resignation letter and it was a doozy. It started with stating that her old boss was a complete asshat and ended with "take your lousy job and shove it".

Personally, I thought it was awesome.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:04 PM   #25
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There's a happy ending, she got a new job once she recovered a bit, better pay and saner folks to work with, in a competing firm. Now, they are kicking her old megacorp's butt in the marketplace. Turnover at the old company is at record levels and office closures are being planned, we're hearing on the grapevine. And she never did sign that PIP; though, I did see her resignation letter and it was a doozy. It started with stating that her old boss was a complete asshat and ended with "take your lousy job and shove it".

Personally, I thought it was awesome.
That usually how it turns out - moving on to a better place and job where you are appreciated.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:07 PM   #26
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36 years? I'm thinking why would one want to work longer?
it's a very long time especially if it's with the same company.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:17 AM   #27
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The die has been cast. You will soon be history at this company.

Time to take care of number one.

Document any meetings, conversations.

Say nothing. Get a referral to a good employment lawyer. An hour of his/her time would be well worth the investment.

From experience as a senior manager, when HR realizes that you have professional counsel their attitude and their severance offer/conditions usually change in your favor.

Don't forget.....ignore the company loyalty BS. You, and your counsel,are the ONLY ones looking out for you despite any of the sage chestnuts from the HR folks.

And if you need any data, past reviews, letters of commendation, get them off the system, out of your files, and home just in case your access is blocked at some point. Your counsel may want to review these and any other company policy documents. Easier to get them now.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:57 AM   #28
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I started to do a multi-quote then thought better of it. I'll just give my take.

Back "when I thought I was important," I would give PIPs in an honest attempt to rehabilitate individuals. A couple made it through the first one but they eventually fell into old ways. They were then gone. No severance was ever given to someone with truly poor performance. I knew other managers that just did them as a pre-termination meeting with no attempt at rehabilitation.

The fact that a severance is being implied tells me that there is a concern somewhere that the PIP might have issues. The severance, if signed, absolves the company of any legal risk although it is next to impossible to win an age discrimination suit. Even if age discrimination is real, which it probably is a factor, it would have to be certified by the EEOC before a decent lawyer would take the case.

I suspect that based on other comments made there is no viable option but take the severance and run. It may be possible to bring up the anger management issues but I doubt that this would change the outcome. It would possibly be the start of poisoning the well for the supervisor involved.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:39 AM   #29
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I don't think it is a trap.


BUT ... in my megacorp experience, I can tell you more than 1/2 don't make it out of PIP. They either find another job or get terminated. The rest make it out of PIP but not without heavy financial penalty (no salary increase, no bonus, etc for duration and even after PIP) and the perception of having been a "bad" employee. My suggestion is that you find a new job while going along with PIP (to buy time).

A PIP is a tool in my experience. Just as Robnplunder says, I do believe its quite effective for the employer.

Usually there is reason enough for the PIP, and if the employee feels differently I would presume they look (even harder) for a new job. If I was on a PIP I would immediately begin looking for an exit strategy.

I presume most people would rather leave on there own terms rather than getting let go or fired for what started as a PIP. Usually they are an acknowledgement of a discussion on improvements needed. Whether a person chooses to acknowledge the discussion (sign the PIP) usually determines their immediate fate.

Sometimes you don't get a PIP, instead you get called into an office and before you know it your turning in your badge.

If the PIP includes behavioural concerns I would definitely take a severance package and move on. Nobody wants to have that reputation...I would imagine maintaining and gaining any amount of clout might be tough after a PIP.

If your employer knows you have legal counsel, I do agree the power shifts a bit usually into the employees favor.

It would be interesting to see some of the more notable court cases on "discrimination" or something else that stemmed from a PIP and eventual firing.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:43 AM   #30
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In my megacorp the PIP is at best a scarlet letter, at worst a prelude to being fired. From my experience 90% of the folks on PIP end up getting fired, and don't get any severance. The real sad cases have been folks who just miss qualifying for a full pension. I would also ask for the severance info in writing, and strongly consider taking it.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:44 AM   #31
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I would counsel against ever writing a nasty letter of resignation...unless you are retiring.


Why burn bridges? You never know when you will meet someone or need their assistance. It solves nothing and can only harm you in the future.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:10 AM   #32
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In my megacorp the PIP is at best a scarlet letter, at worst a prelude to being fired. From my experience 90% of the folks on PIP end up getting fired, and don't get any severance. The real sad cases have been folks who just miss qualifying for a full pension. I would also ask for the severance info in writing, and strongly consider taking it.
If let go "just before" qualifying for a full pension, you do have some legal leverage. The "just before" is what's difficult to determine. It is in Megacorps best interest to purge non-upward moving individuals off their pension plans before they qualify for a full pension. The way pension plans are designed makes the contributions much higher for older workers than younger ones. In my experience, HR is wanting to find reasons to get rid of these people. My favorite code word from the HR folks was "blockers." They hold positions that younger, higher potential employees could take if they weren't filled by a "blocker" that will never move up.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:12 AM   #33
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The real sad cases have been folks who just miss qualifying for a full pension.
Sounds like a pattern of age discrimination. Unfortunately any one individual may have a hard time saying a single instance of a PIP is discrimination without access to the pattern of company behavior. Which if it systemically deprives people of a pension that they worked years for, is despicable.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:44 AM   #34
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While it is hard to say based on your post, it sounds ominous to me.

I did a PIP on an employee who had been with the company a long time in a sincere desire for her to improve her performance so we could retain her. I'm happy to say she rose to the challenge and was a model employee after that.

I received a PIP early in my career (we think you're smart but lazy and in 6 months its either up or out) and was promoted 5 months later.

I inherited a department that had an employee under a PIP and it just got worse so we let her go.

And like others posted, I have seen many instances where supervisors had no sincere desire to rehabilitate the underperforming employee and it was just another step that needed to be completed as part of the firing process.

If I were in that situation I would inquire about severance while being clear that I had not made a decision either way but just wanted to make a decision knowing all the information. If I thought I was being railroaded and didn't give a care about the job I would probably consider making a formal compliant about the manager's Code of Conduct violations, knowing that the deck is stacked against me but sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Or at least tell the manager one is coming so s/he can stew on it for a while.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:50 AM   #35
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Adding to the chorus........... There are always anecdotal exceptions, but once a PIP is given the employee is toast. PIP has merely become a defensive legal mechanism prior to terminating an employee (especially one with 36 years tenure).
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:25 AM   #36
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+1

I've been a manager for a long time and a PIP is a tick in the box before someone can be fired in my mega corp. I've only had to do a few PIPs but once you're subject to a PIP it's almost impossible to find another job in the company and if you were able to do the job there wouldn't be a PIP involved. If you're fired there is no severance.

If they're offering to see if a package is available I'd jump at it if I were offered it.
I agree. Sounds like they are doing what is legally required to terminate someone. The severance package usually comes with a sign off of the
x employee saying that they will not sue the company. I would be real surprised if they did not pay the severance as promised.
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:37 AM   #37
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I neglected to say that this person has had 36 consecutive years of good performance reviews. The latest was the first bad one, although did not get the worst rating possible. The supervisor has anger management issues which the employee has yet to divulge this information. The employee can cite numerous occasions where Code of Conduct policy has been violated.

Sounds like a workplace bullying situation. It is unfortunately not illegal. It most often ends badly for the target. If the employee divulges policy violations now, it will look like retaliation. I would be looking for a new job now. Or can this person just retire? Would not count on severance.


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Old 01-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #38
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Adding to the chorus........... There are always anecdotal exceptions, but once a PIP is given the employee is toast. PIP has merely become a defensive legal mechanism prior to terminating an employee (especially one with 36 years tenure).
Agree, the whole point of the PIP is to cover the employer's butt in case of lawsuit. The best the employee can do is get out. The stink of the PIP will follow them forever at that company, and if ever a layoff, they will be first on the list, even years later. It is no-win situation for the employee, time at that company is over. There is no future except the final being fired.

Only option is to get a severance and leave, hopefully with unemployment. Then either get a new job or just retire. Does the company have a pension plan that this 36 year employee can take, even if earlier than they want?
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:56 AM   #39
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While I agree with the comments that PIPs frequently result in termination, it would be worthwhile to know what kind of performance issues were stated on this PIP and what kind of remedies were expected. For example, some performance issues are quantifiable and correctable such as turning reports in on time or reducing absenteeism. Others are more subjective and if management is determined that the PIP'd employee be severed, no amount of change on the employee's part will result in continued employment.

OP, what is the nature of the PIP? Are there specific quantifiable issues that the employee can correct if he so desires such as stop missing meetings or stop coming in late or do hand reports in on time?

If the PIP seems insurmountable because either the PIP deliverables are subjective or quantifiable but out of reach of the employees capabilities or willingness, then I see two paths:

1. Investigate the severance. Determine if you can work the 90 days and then leave with the severance. Ensure that unemployment compensation will not be challenged. These steps would maximize your situation financially.

2. If you have skills, especially individual contributor technical skills, ask to be reassigned to a position (even at a pay cut) where you can work for additional time. Perhaps there is some period of time, a year or two, that takes you to a goal for FIRE. If the PIP is for performance issues unique to your current job but you have good skills that your employer would benefit from if you are reassigned to a job focusing on those, it might be considered.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:42 AM   #40
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Not familiar with personnel (or HR today), but way back a few decades ago, when PIP was called Standards of Performance, a similar situation.

Lots depended on pay, alternative options with other companies, and years to go for a reasonable retirement... and a mean, ego driven superior. I hung in there, and in a month, the guy who reviewed me left, and I received a promotion to a better more satisfactory job, and a raise.

Yeah... I know it doesn't work that way today, but the part about the alternative options.. in my case, the expertise was in that company, that part of the company... and at age 49 the skills not readily transferrable to a different business. That meant a probable 20% 30% pay cut if I left.

As they say, "discretion is the better part of valor" weighing the realities and downsides before making the decision... Sounds like you're doing that, and my guess is the outcome will be positive.

Best of luck!
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