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.
“Quit in lieu of termination” means you cannot collect unemployment. And they can say that in future reference checks. “He quit because he did poorly and didn’t want to be fired.”
Get an attorney, and do not rely on the advice of someone who works for the company. And make copies of all documentation when you take it for review. If they refuse to let you take it to be reviewed by someone with legal experience, do not sign and state you will not sign without your legal representative present.
If you do so, it will be denied. The employer will respond with a copy of what was offered in terms of severance. Then you are out of gas with UE AND with the severance package, which the employer can pull back after needing to waste time explaining that to Dept of Workforce Svcs / Dept of Labor. It's one or the other - you can't get both.
“...if you “quit” you are typically not eligible for unemployment compensation.”
If employees quit I don’t think that they are given severance packages. But maybe in Wisconsin...
b) In some states, you can collect severance and still collect unemployment (Illinois, for example). I'm not sure where your state of residence is or from which state you will collect any UE
All you need to know is that the guy was let go in an "at will" state and provided with a five month severance package for only five years of employment.
That's a jackpot for anyone who has ever lost their job after so little seniority...........
I know exactly what the "agreement" says, I have issued them and I ultimately received one...........
Employment attorneys know exactly what that agreement says and the only way one will give it any consideration will be cash up front, probably in the neighborhood of $250. There's no way will he ever be able to find an attorney to take up his claim for a fee based outcome because there is now way he can win.
At this point I would advise him to file a discrimination claim with the state of Wisconsin and let them investigate it for free.
In light of this “quit instead of termination” business, you need to understand the ramifications upon your ability to claim unemployment. If you have the funds to do so get an attorney to review this and explain what it means.
On the other hand, unless terms of your employment contain a severance agreement you could be jeopardizing this.
You are an at will employee, so they don’t need a reason to terminate. However, all EEOC regulations and requirements still apply, at will or not. If you can plausibly claim unfair treatment due to age, race, sex, etc. then you could make things difficult for them.
If they think they have legit grounds to let you go based on “performance” and are still going to give you a five-months-salary severance package, all other issues notwithstanding, I would generally say take it, as in a lot of other non-union situations they might have legally been obliged to give you only two-weeks notice/severance.
On the other hand, you need to check on any company HR policy regarding unused vacation time. There may be something in there that suggests you are entitled to pay in lieu of that time, regardless of the circumstances of your leaving. But, check THAT part out; I could just as well be wrong on this.
Excellent post. Saving it. May need it in the future. The 2 witches in the office are still trying to get me fired.
If he has 5 months of salary coming, he can afford 250 dollars.
I was shocked to learn, here in NY (don't know if it's still the case as it was many years ago) I could collect unemployment while collecting my severance.
I hope I have 5 months salary coming. I know only what they told me.
Not true. There are several types of severance packages, one for terminated employees and another for permanently laid off employees.
For the terminated employee, it is a lump sum payoff, not designated for any future pay periods. That allows the terminated employee to file for U.I. It is then up to the employer to protest the claim and prove that the termination was due to misconduct. In the case of this guy, that is unlikely.
The other type of severance, the permanently laid off, that usually provides for a specified monthly continuation of salary based on years of seniority and is a percentage of his weekly or monthly salary offset by any unemployment benefits he is entitled to......
Since this guy has not provided a copy of his severance agreement, it is useless to engage in a debate as to what he is or isn't entitled to based solely on his statement that he was fired.
And as I said before, based on Wisconsin's "at will" law, it's unlikely any attorney will even speak with him unless he's willing to fork over whatever consultation fee the attorney demands......
Seems to me that you should be able to do a lot as a freelancer for distressed Packers fans, and in about three weeks for hordes of despondent Dems.
The biggest questions are --
1) Does the severance preclude unemployment payments?
2) Is the severance one big check which then makes taxes much more than a regular paycheck?
3) What is your run rate compared to your paycheck, and how hard would it be to get another job?
I'll pray for you...we FReepers need to stick together.
In an "At Will" state, an employer can terminate you for no reason whatsoever.......
There is a difference between a "Right to Work" state and an "At Will" state.
The Right to Work state allows you the right to not have to join a union if you don't wish to.
An "At Will" state allows your employer to terminate you for no cause......
You should call the legal aid office in your area. There should be one.
If they can say you quit they are off the hook for everything.
-——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. ——
If you are a “ at will “ employees.... You basically have no rights or recourse....
Take the money and look for another job....the fact they gave you severance probably means it wasn’t actually a true performance issue rather a way to get you to sign off on the termination agreement so to limit their legal liabilities
Thank you for the prayers. My wife and I could use them right now!
Most states have a specific time limit by which they must pay you in full, usually 48 hours after being terminated, regardless of reason.
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