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  • volunteering for termination Iowa Iowa

    I have a friend who is very close to losing his job. He's been told that he is going to be put on a 90-day PIP, and will be terminated if his performance does not improve. He doesn't think he can perform his job his employer's expectations - in part because he is simply not suited for the job, in part because he is routinely set up to fail. He feels that being terminated is inevitable.

    He is enrolled part-time in college courses to train for a different field of work, but at the rate he's going, he won't be done for another 3 years. If he goes to his employer and offers to go quietly and immediately if they don't contest unemployment, could they successfully claim that his offer constitutes a voluntary quit? He can't afford to be ineligible for unemployment, but if he's going to lose his job anyway, he'd rather have a chance to enroll in full-time coursework for next semester (Iowa allows unemployed workers to claim benefits while enrolled in school full-time, for up to 6 months, even though they don't meet the availability requirements - he could shave 6-12 months off his graduation timeline if he could take advantage of this.)

  • #2
    They not only could claim that his actions consituted a voluntary quit, under the circumstance you've described they would be right - it would. The state is not going to recognize "I thought I was going to be fired so I offered to leave" as a termination outside his control.

    Sorry, but I've seen it.
    Last edited by cbg; 12-10-2010, 08:14 PM.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Agree; if he gets fired/terminated by the employer, his chances of getting
      UI benefits greatly increase. You generally don't get UI when you quit/resign.
      The state makes the decision whether you get UI or not & not the employer.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        Agreed. Quitting is almost always a bad idea for the employee. The only real variable is "how bad". Obviously I do not know everything that the employee in question knows, but I have (as a manager) issued "fix this or else" PIPs to employees before that did not always result in the termination of the employee. Frankly, if I wanted someone gone, it is not that hard to just fire them. PIPs are a lot of work, and there is no (good) reason to mess around with them unless the employer is trying to salvage the employee. At the risk of making a radical suggestion, why not just have the employee focus on doing their job and trying to address the points raised by the PIP? If they still end up getting fired, they will likely end up getting UI (unlike if they quit). Past that, if the employee thinks they are going to get fired, they probably will be, because they will probably stop trying to do their job. Otherwise known as a self fulfilling prophecy.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Thanks, I figured that would be the answer, but you guys know UI better than I do.

          I think it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, DAW. He was thrown into the job without any training two years ago when his old position was eliminated. He has learned what he knows by trial and error, and he's still coming across errors he hasn't made yet. He's handed project work by 4 different people; none of them knows what the others are giving him, and he frequently gets 2 or more "top-priority" projects at the same time. He is the last person to handle project planning before the plans are formalized, and everyone before him tends to take their time so that he gets his part at the last minute (there are no incremental deadlines.) He is frequently not given enough time to do his job properly, much less check for errors or check in with the project managers that there aren't any details he hasn't covered (they are notorious for making verbal agreements with customers and forgetting to communicate those to him.) He's dissatisfied and demotivated, and nobody does their best work that way. He also doesn't have a very assertive nature, and I think that's probably what's really missing.

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          • #6
            Sounds like working in HR....
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

            Comment


            • #7
              & a lot of other jobs too.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment


              • #8
                Agreed, but ...

                You have the job, you do the job. Presumably if you were given the job, someone thought you could handle it. Does it always work out that way? Of course not. Some people end up being bad fits for jobs. Some managers do not have a clue what they are doing. But the simple truth is that 90% of any job is showing up and doing the job. I am fine with trying to educate yourself, and learning more. What I am not fine with is sitting on one's hands. Not by the employee and not by their boss. This notion that there is this evil cabal of employers who deliberately hire employees for jobs that they cannot do is laughable. What is not laughable is people who do not even try. Who do not listen. Who think that a PIP is part of some evil conspiracy to make them fail, instead of a desperate attempt to salvage the situation. Who think that firing people by itself solves all problems.

                I can remember several jobs ago, I got brought in as Disbursements Manager, basically in charge of Accounts Payable and Payroll at a large company. My predessor was fired, as was the one before that. We were hammered by IRS in a recent audit. Staff should take this as a sign of things not being well. Senior management would have fired everyone if they though it would have worked. My senior AP and PR staffers were not happy campers, because everytime they made a mistake, I kicked it back and told them to try again. I reviewed EVERYTHING they did. I made them work overtime, if that was what it took to get things right. I would not let them leave for the day until today's messes were cleaned up. I made the senior payroll person actually read the IRS and state employer tax guides (which were treated as a very unreasonable request on my part). I trained these folks. A lot. My two senior people would whine to anyone who listened to them. Since my management was backing me up, this accomplished nothing. I did not fire these folks, but I also did not take no for an answer. They were going to do their jobs correctly, period, no exceptions, no tolerable error limit. Over time, to almost everyone's surprise, they did. By forcing the two senior staffers to do their job correctly, they in turn pulled the rest of the two departments in behind them. These two people eventually got very good at their jobs.

                Firing people is easy. Training them takes work. Being responsible for results takes a lot of effort.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CarynG View Post
                  Thanks, I figured that would be the answer, but you guys know UI better than I do.

                  I think it is a self-fulfilling prophecy, DAW. He was thrown into the job without any training two years ago when his old position was eliminated. He has learned what he knows by trial and error, and he's still coming across errors he hasn't made yet. He's handed project work by 4 different people; none of them knows what the others are giving him, and he frequently gets 2 or more "top-priority" projects at the same time. He is the last person to handle project planning before the plans are formalized, and everyone before him tends to take their time so that he gets his part at the last minute (there are no incremental deadlines.) He is frequently not given enough time to do his job properly, much less check for errors or check in with the project managers that there aren't any details he hasn't covered (they are notorious for making verbal agreements with customers and forgetting to communicate those to him.) He's dissatisfied and demotivated, and nobody does their best work that way. He also doesn't have a very assertive nature, and I think that's probably what's really missing.
                  In my view, taking a more proactive attitude with those co-workers could be of benefit, and help them submit their projects in a more timely manner by his being in that loop. And, he would already know what the co-workers projects are about; which, presumably, would take less time on his part to complete.

                  Other than that, I see no reason why he couldn't simply state to his boss that he is welcome to fire him on an at-will basis if he so desires. It could be another self-fulfilling prophecy as well.
                  Last edited by danielpalos; 12-13-2010, 07:35 AM.
                  Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or qualified to practice law in any state. I only argue legal theory and politics, from an economics perspective.

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