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Paid to leave - "not the right fit" California

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  • Paid to leave - "not the right fit" California

    Over a year and a half ago, my husband was summoned to a meeting with his new boss of three weeks. The new boss explained that he'd worked with many V.P.'s of product design, and that he didn't "feel" like my husband was the "right fit" for the "roll". The boss suggested that my husband take the rest of the day off and use the weekend to look on the company's website for other positions in the organization that he might be interested in, or consider a package of 14 months salary. The company does not post Vice President level positions on their website.

    When my husband returned on Monday, no positions were presented or offered to him, only the package, which he countered with the addition of early vesting of company stock. That was rejected and the H.R. worker handling the negotiation verbally told my husband that he would, however, be eligible for unemployment. He eventually accepted the original package offered.

    No resignation was ever requested or submitted and a carefully written explanation of the departure was read to the team, and e.mailed out to the division. They used the term "leaving" My husband signed contracts around earning money while receiving the money, not suing the company, not trash-talking the company, but nothing around the circumstances of "leaving" or why.

    When payments ended and my husband filed for unemployment. and after only two weeks, the company is disputing the claim, stating he resigned and turned down an offer of another position. Obviously, my husband filled out his part, -"didn't resign" etc and sent it back in. Months later he received a hearing date (next Thursday) to resolve the matter. The company has outsourced their end of this dispute to some kind of agency who is still pursuing it.

    We are curious of just what we can expect from this hearing. Obviously they would like him to pay the money back, but it seems obvious to us they have no recourse.
    So we are wondering what the motivation is, what are we missing?


  • #2
    I just went to an appeal hearing last week. Run don't walk to the appeal office and ask to see your file. That way you can see exactly what they said. Ask if you can subpoena company records that might be able to help you. It's worth a try. Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response and advice. We'll definitely look into it.

      We do have a copy of a letter the agency submitted for the appeal. (it was included with the hearing notice)
      The company provided this statement "the claimant voluntarily quit. No reason given"

      Is there even more to see? -perhaps what ever evidence they would need to present in in lieu of an authentic resignation letter....?


      • #4
        From what I read, they told him to look for other positions and when he went back you said they "didnt offer him anything."

        From their perspective, he was given the choice to resign or find another job within the company and he didnt choose another job in the company so therefore, he resigned.
        Granted, I dont know anything more about the situation but thats what I'm reading.
        I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
        Thomas Jefferson


        • #5
          Thanks, Morgana,
          Yes, you are right at the heart of the issue, what occurred in the boss's office does sound like a resignation, but technically, no actual sounds were even uttered. Everything that happened on paper looks like a lay-off.

          It seems to me that the boss, knowing VP level and above positions are not posted on the website, (they recruit VP and above w/ outside recruiters) has successfully, offered a demotion and coerced my husband to resign, all without a word.

          That said, should he have not follwed through with actual paper work?
          I'm sure, to get the package, my husband would have written a letter of resignation if they asked for one... Part of the verbal negotiations were around the early vesting of stock, and the fact that he would qualify for unemployment, was offered as an insulting, however ultimately acceptable consolation prize.

          There is no resignation contracts signed, no resignation letter written, no jargon used in the speeches nor the e.mail like "quitting" or "resigning", which they do say when someone actually does... And this all coincides with my husband's understanding that he did not resign. The paper work states his position was terminated. He was technically kept on as an "employee" in another position, unnamed, while receiving the 14 months of salary, and his contributions to social security were set back to zero, because of this departmental change they made in some mysterious paper work.
          And that looks like a lay-off to me....

          Within the year a new VP of design was hired in the exact same capacity, and my husband's unemployment claim is being appealed. So to me , that looks like the company doing whatever it wants.

          Can the the company legally call it as a resignation with no letter of resignation or contracts signed defining it as so?

          Also, in the tough economic times (wink wink) is it possible the company has found it beneficial to the bottom line to reject all claims going forward? and if so, is this harassment? It feels horrible and my husband stopped claiming the unemployment prematurely because of the shame the issue brought about.


          • #6
            The company doesn't "reject" claims; the state makes a determination and both parties have the right to appeal.

            Having said that, it does appear that more employers are contesting more claims these days. Guess they figure that it costs them nothing but a little time and the more of them they win, the less likely their UI rate will go up next year.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


            • #7
              No resignation letter is required. I have employees who call up and quit or walk off with no written resignation.

              At the hearing, your husband should bring any documentation he received on the separation. It is best to bring 3 copies (1 for him, 1 for the adjuster and 1 for his former company).

              I do not have employee in CA, but in all the states my company operates in, the hearings are similar. You go into a room with the adjuster and a rep from your former company. You are sworn in and the laws which govern the hearing are described. Any paperwork which was sent to the state as proof of the claim is described and admitted into evidence.

              Then whichever side did the appeal begins their statement on how the termination occurred. I find it best beforehand to write down a timeline of what day/date each thing happened. Once you are done, the adjuster may ask questions and allow the other side to make a statement and ask you questions.

              The entire hearing is taped and usually does not last more than 1/2 hour. The longest I have been too was an hour and that was because a translator was used so everything had to be repeated twice (once in English and once in Spanish).

              Your husband will get notice of the decision within approximately 10 days of the hearing. He should keep emotions out of the hearing and stick to facts that he can prove.


              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your input!

                Wow, thank you so much, exactly the info I was looking for... this is so informative.

                It is ALMOST a shame, that the good news is the the hearing will be canceled!....happily, about 1/2 hour ago, we got an e.mail from the company's HR rep. The appeal has been canceled - "Just a glitch in the system" apparently.

                A couple nights ago, my husband sent a honest and personal e.mail to the company's CEO. Since my husband hasn't had communications with the HR rep in almost a year, we are speculating that it may have had an effect, but we'll never really know.

                Thank you again, HRinMA in particular... good to know how a resignation can work. I know every state is different, but why anyone with a job doesn't make it their business to know these things sooner is a wonder, I'm glad I know now...Thanks again everyone.
                I'll keep you posted,
                Best, Urz....


                • #9
                  Glad to hear the good news!


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