Skip to comments.I Just Got Fired.... Now What?
Posted on 10/19/2012 2:14:49 PM PDT by Volunteer
I was fired from my job today after 5 years. They have offered me a 5 month severance package, the catch is I have to sign some agreement that I can't understand.
They explained they would not pay me my monthly salary this month or my 207 hours of vacation unless I sign the agreement.
Can any one out there give me some advice as to what I should do? I am in Wisconsin and I know nothing about Employment Law here.
Any suggestions would be very helpful and very appreciated.
Are you a white female call Gloria Allred
Don't sign until you have adequate legal advice.
If you don’t understand it, don’t sign it. Get an attorney to spend an hour reading and explaining it to you.
Fired or laid off?
The agreement you would sign would necessarily be different for each case.
There are lawyers that specialize in this sort of thing. Call around and see if you can get a free consultation.
I am sorry this happened to you! Hopefully you can find another position soon.
Is the 5 month package better than unemployment or are they asking that you take their package and sign-off on any further compensation? Be careful sounds as if they will do whatever it takes to save a buck. I would check, you may be better filing for unemployment which may last longer than their five month deal after which you may not be able to file for the unemployment.
Every state had Labor department which resolves such issue, I won’t advise you to sign anything.
When you have worked this month and accumulated vacation, they have to pay.
Check state or talk to your county labor department.
I also wanted to add my condolences. Sometimes losing a long term job can be really stressful.
Don’t sign something that you don’t understand.
Have an attorney look it over if need be.
...probably a standard agreement not to jump on social media and dump, belittle, and libel them for 1 year, no contact with remaining personnel (for purposes of the preceeding), etc., etc.
generally, sign, walk away, and never look back...and, if you engage in the future in similar work, obviously no divulging proprietary information of the former employer....
..signing gives them the right to come and royally clean your clock if you are a jerk about it..
The HR guy then explained that if I sign this agreement, that it would be seen that I quit in lieu of termination.
When I asked why I was being fired, I was told "performance". I am an at-will employee, so I assume that can mean anything.
Sign it and take the money. Most of those agreements are non-compete (saying you won’t take a job with a company that competes directly with them) and they’re all unenforceable.
Common request for you to review the package they are going to give you. If you do not believe you are owed any bonus, expenses, etc, then you should sign and move on. Have fun in your next endevour.
You might be signing away all kinds of things they should be liable for!
(What are they gonna do if you insist on waiting - fire you?)
Probably best to sign it. If you have any questions see an attorney. Do your homework first so you can ask the right questions.
I’m not sure but I didn’t think they could refuse to pay your vacation if you don’t sign it. Unless there is something really egregious, it’s more than most companies are giving.
I went through the same thing four years ago. I signed the paper work and agreed not to sue. I got three months severance pay and three months vacation pay that I had on the books. I figured that if I sued I would have to pay a lawyer up front and I could wind up with nothing. I also got un-enjoyment benefits. I was back to work three months later. I was lucky. If I had known that I would be back to work in three months I would have enjoyed the break. Think positive. 0bama will be gone and the economy will come back strong.
I was fired from my job today after 5 years. They have offered me a 5 month severance package, the catch is I have to sign some agreement that I can’t understand.
That’s a pretty good settlement. Are you being fired or laid off? Are others getting the axe too or is this just your problem?
If you have the time to consider this - do it. Otherwise, I’d take it it today. Especially if it was a broader work force reduction.
Must be your first time getting fired ;-)
1. The vacation time is yours - don't let them bluff you.
2. you'll probably have to sign to get the severance
3. don't sign until you get a lawyer to look it over.
I was in a similar situation. They were firing me but said if I signed the agreement which stated I was quiting I would get a severance. By signing it I was not able to collect unemployment and the court wouldn’t reduce my support obligation because I “quit” instead of getting fired. If yours is anything like that DON’T sign it.
Need to talk to a lawyer to have him review the agreement.
Most of the time if you are a white man your recourses are nil, you just have to move on.
Two possibilities are Age Discrimination or Detrimental Reliance, if neither of these apply to you, more than likely regardless of the cause they can fire you.
So don’t get your hopes up, most states are employment at will. Meaning that if there is no contract, either party can quit the relationship for any reason.
If Wisconsin is one of these states, they are likely just being nice and hedging their bets to make sure that you don’t come back and tie them in knots in court.
I asked if after the 5 months they would deny my unemployment claim. The HR guy said no. But, when I asked him if it was in the agreement, he said it wasn't.
Since I know the owner very well and truly do not trust the guy, I know I am going to have to get an attorney.
Go on Twitter and find some dirt on your boss! ;-)
Sign nothing until you talk to a lawyer specializing in employment law.
Goood advice in this post. I would add start working very hard in finding new employment. ASAP The more resumes you get out there the better. Hunt hard and give yourself options. Good Luck
Ask for a copy.
Retain a lawyer for an hour.
Get a professional opinion.
By doing this you give yourself leverage and can save loads of money.
Contact the Wisconsin Labor Board
What are the chances of you picking up another job soon.
I bet you nailed it.
I bet they are offering a sweet severance package in exchange for waiving unemployment benefit claims.
But still - if unemployment insurance paid 1/2 of your monthly pay, then 5 months of full pay is still better than 12 months of unemployment.
Asssuming unemployment benefits are 1/2. YMMV.
Wow, 5 months? I’ve never been offered that when laid off. Be grateful.
Will you still be able to draw unemployment compensation since you "quit"? They might fight you on that issue. It happened to my son, and it took him several months fighting it.
1. Were your previous performance evaluations all favorable? If not, it's a blessing to move on, although you should also cover your bases. If so, definitely have a labor lawyer look into it.
2. Do you have a Romney sticker on your car, a Romney sign on your house, or a Romney endorsement on your Facebook page? If so, be sure your lawyer is a conservative.
How did you do on your last performance review? Were you given any warnings between your review and being terminated?
Probably should have a lawyer look at it.
Perhaps there may be something in there that if you take the severence you can’t file for unemployment (as it would be a lower percentage of your salary but it would last longer and it would be coming out of their pockets).
That or there may be something in there saying you can’t directly compete with them or take a job with another company that’s like the one you had with them. Non-competes aren’t legal here unless you agree to them. Even then sometimes they are so broad they can be dismissed if it’s so broad it prevents you from working, period.
go see a good lawyer.
A: Get a lawyer.
Never sign something you don’t understand.
By signing it I was not able to collect unemployment
A visit to an attorney will cost you minimal compared to what it could cost you if you sign the wrong thing. Be safe.
Red flag there.....in Wisconsin, if you "quit" you are typically not eligible for unemployment compensation.
You have my sympathies....my hubby was just fired very unexpectedly in August. No severance and the jerk employer even fought unemployment. Thankfully he is working again.
Where in WI are you and what's your line of work?
If you resign, you will be ineligible for unemployment money.
You need to sue and force them to keep you employed no matter what and to hire an assistant for you too. Or to pay you for the next 5 years for not working, that’d work for some people /sarcasm
I have a disability and I have never, ever slacked off from work a day in my life.
I'm frustrated and angry and embarrassed as hell.
That would very likely affect any unemployment compensation you might be eligible to receive. You need to talk with an attorney. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
I know how this feels Volunteer, I was laid off after 20 years, not that I didn't see it coming.
In my State you can file for unemployment (and should immediately), but would receive no compensation before the 5 months that you are still receiving a paycheck; vacation pay is also a consideration.
You would have to report earnings during that time, but after the five months (+ 3 weeks, I think), if you are still unemployed, you would begin receiving benefits. If you don't file immediately however, it may reduce your benefits.
Because I am in Texas, it never took me more than a month to become employed, I wish you the same luck.
I asked if after the 5 months they would deny my unemployment claim. The HR guy said no. But, when I asked him if it was in the agreement, he said it wasn’t.
I think - FWIW - the HR guy is right. You are being fired. If later you file for unemployment, the company CAN’T deny a thing.
Take the money. Start looking for a job tomorrow. And Good luck and God Bless.
Get. A. Lawyer.
This is boilerplate HR bs ("performance" satisfies at-will) and if it's so gd important to them to make it look like you quit, then you're in a position to negotiate your departure. But only with a lawyer.
At will means they don’t need a specified reason to let you go.
Im so sorry to hear of your loss of job. Prayers you will ge a better one.
Did you have a contract that says they can withhold your pay? If not you can and should sue them. And never sign anything that you can't understand. Tell them you will consider it and ask them to put it in terms you can understand. If not don't sign.
Once you've done that, the next thing to do is educate yourself on the law in Wisconsin and your options. I would suggest starting here: Wisconsin Employment Law
As you will see, Wisconsin is an "at-will" state which means any employer can terminate any employee for any reason at any time, as long as the termination is not based on illegal grounds. Likewise, any employee can terminate their employment for any reason, at any time (meaning: not provide notice.)
It sounds to me like you've been laid-off as a result of a Reduction In Force at your employer. In this case, you've done nothing wrong, and neither has your employer. They are offering you a severance package based on some condition. That condition is located somewhere in the agreement paperwork they've given you.
After you've calmed down, sometime over the next day or so you should read through the paperwork they've provided. In reading the severance agreement, you may want to look for any terms that would preclude you from suing your former employer for any reason, or any terms that would cause them to sue you to recover severance payments.
Typically, those tems are spelled out in the severance agreement. If you don't find them, they're likely embedded in some legal mumbo-jumbo and in that case I'd recommend you spend an hour with an employment labor attorney. You may spend $100-250 in having them look over the agreement, but it'll be worth your peace of mind to make sure you're protected.
Wishing you the very best of luck, and I'll pray for you.
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