Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

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DolphinYay
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Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by DolphinYay »

Hello all,

I hope BH's can help me understand my situation and whether I have any rights to unemployment benefits. I've never faced such a situation in the past (luckily). If it matters, I'm a resident of NC, and my employer (a large company) is based in SC. I've been working from home since the pandemic started.

Generally speaking the company has been struggling since I was hired there 3+ years ago. It used to be a private IT company before it was acquired by a public company, but this year it was taken private again by some PE firm.
I am part of a G&A department (finance/accounting/marketing/etc.). It seems that more and more IT work is being shifted to India and G&A work is being moved to Mexico and India... Basically it's a classic story you read/hear in the news that blue collar jobs went abroad first and white collar work is next. I already have quite a few colleagues in Mexico and a couple of them in India. My situation...

I come back from my long vacation on September 1, and my manager sets a 1-on-1 meeting with me for September 12. He starts telling me: "You know we are looking to all the different revenue and expense drivers and what we do in our department to make us successful and you know there's not much what you do here, but you know we like you and maybe we can find something within the company, maybe look on the intranet. I know that this X manager is looking for somebody to fill in a back-fill position in the AR for 3 months, but you can keep looking for something else in the company in the interim. Would you be interested in talking to the X manager?"
I'm like "Oooo'kay" I can talk to her, but why did the back-fill person leave?"
He says "Well, I don't know. But she was trained and everything for 2 months and she left the co. and now the X manager is in a bad position."
This is a red flag to me as if he is blaming the temp person. I know that the turnover is very high in that departmen and I knew a few people who quit their jobs after a year or less because of the internal culture and awful workload.
So I talked to the other manager on the same day. The project doesn't really involve using my direct skillset, but I would be capable of performing it, and they might use me for some other ad hoc projects, but my work would end by the YE.
While chatting with these managers I also request and get approved to use my accrued 3.5 vacation days because if I'm kicked out I better use them and get paid.
So I log in on September 13 for a few minutes to let the X manager know that I'll pass on her temp project. I also let my manager know and I also say that on Friday he can tell the protocol of returning equipment, etc.
When I logged in on Friday, I find my manager's email (CC'd HR) titled Resignation. It said that I informed him in Teams that I did not want to accept the role on the other team and it sounded like I have decided to leave the company, so I need to send him my official resignation in an email and we can start that process.
This email didn't make me happy... I am not volunteerily resigning. They are pushing me out...
I chatted with a close colleague of mine who's older and who has worked for many employers in different higher capacity positions than myself. She said that this is a very typical corporate scheme when a company doesn't want employees to apply for unemployment so it tries to turn everything inside out to make it look like a resignation than a termination. Plus, 3.5-month ad hoc project isn't even a temp work that they tried to offer me.

So, I replied my manager and cc'd HR saying that in my understanding my job is being eliminated and I was even surprised to hear it. I was offered an option for work on a project that happens not to use my direct skillset and in addition to that it's 3 months long only.
Two hours later my manager replied saying that he would call me on Monday to work everything out. So, this is tomorrow morning most likely.

I apologize for a very long post but I wanted to describe the background situation so you can help me understand the whole thing and where I stand.

- Since the company offered me some kind of work that it's different than my direct position and VERY short-term, but I refutsed to take it, does it imply that the company can define it as my resignation and therefore I am not entitled to apply for unemployment benefits?
- Am I being laid off, terminated, downsized, or fired here? It doesn't sound that I am being fired because I didn't do anything improper and I was told that I was liked as an employee.
- When do people qualify to legally apply for unemployment benefits?
- If I decided to not seek a new job outside this company after I'm kicked out, can I still apply for unemployment?
- I have no clue what this "everything working out" per my manager means, but can I ask for a severence too? I would probably be denied and I don't know the policy at my company either. I just know that putting words in my mouth about a bogus resignation didn't make me feel happy. I was even considering to become a stay-at-home parent, but now I feel that I might seek another job if that's a requirement to qualify for unemployment because my company is being dishonest.

Thoughts? Advice? Thank you all!
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snackdog
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by snackdog »

Take the position they offered you immediately. They are saying your current position is gone and that is all they have to offer. If you refuse it, you are resigning which means no unemployment benefits.
Marseille07
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Marseille07 »

I don't believe they can force you to resign. But it sounds like you are getting laid off unless you accept the short-term project (and can still get laid off after the project).

EDIT: I had missed that the temp project is for 3 months. You need to take that, then look for a new gig elsewhere at the same time. This is not the time to be picky; crappy or not, you want to take the project to secure your income.
Last edited by Marseille07 on Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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sailaway
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by sailaway »

Talk to a lawyer.

As not a lawyer "I am not taking that role and how do I return all of my equipment?" does sound like resigning. You manager was following up on that last part. They may have expected something more like "I have decided against this role, but have identified others on the intranet to apply for."


As for unemployment, if it is determined you are eligible, you will be required to pursue employment.
kd2008
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by kd2008 »

I concur with the snackdog reply above. Instead of laying you off immediately, they are giving you a 3-month off ramp to find something else. Your boss was less than forthright about what is happening. But that is irrelevant now. Secure you pay for three months while you look for something else.
Last edited by kd2008 on Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
rbd789
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by rbd789 »

Too early to get excited. I suspect miscommunication is the current problem. The inquiry about protocol for returning equipment could have easily be interpreted as "I'm done here". Hopefully you can straighten that out and move forward as part of your discussion tomorrow. Good luck!
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CAsage
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by CAsage »

At worst, you do the stupid job for 3 months and then they lay you off, so you preserve your unemployment? Whatever you do, never imply you are choosing to leave.
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random_walker_77
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by random_walker_77 »

Read up on "Constructive Dismissal" (but note that it's much weaker in the US than in other countries)
This may also be helpful:
North Carolina Employment Law | Is Your Boss Trying to Force You to Quit?

Make clear that you're not resigning. Consult w/ an employment lawyer, who will guide you in how to do this properly to maximize severance compensation.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by ProsperGoalzz »

I agree with your assessment. You had a job and on the 12th, it was suggested you apply for another job, that you didn't want. This is not a resignation. I assume you talked about returning equipment because you understood you were being let go? I would state this directly when you talk to your manager.

Good for you for replying back in writing with what occurred, to clear up what appears to be a misunderstanding (hopefully/at best).

Is this happening to others? It raises risk to the company if you are being treated differently due to age, veteran status, race, national origin, etc. I didn't hear anything like that in what you wrote but look around if you think it could be a factor. (When I say risk I mean of a discrimination claim to accompany your unemployment claim.)

I'm not an unemployment expert, but I do think you need to be seeking work to qualify. At least in my state.

I would keep notes of what is said in this upcoming meeting in case you file and they dispute. Maybe send another email after, capturing that to again ensure mutual understanding.

Hopefully the company will make it right. But sure maybe it's a sign to stay home or move on. Employment opportunities are abundant right now.
HomeStretch
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by HomeStretch »

Remember that “less is more” when speaking in tomorrow’s meeting. Emphasize that you thought you were being terminated and that you are not resigning. Don’t add any more except to ask them to put in writing what your options are if your position is being eliminated.

If one of the options is the 3-month position and then being terminated, you will have to decide whether you want to take the 3-month temp job while you look for another job within or outside of the company.

If you don’t understand your options or believe the company is not following employment law/regulations, consult with an employment practices attorney for advice before accepting anything verbally or in writing.

You likely should have the right to unemployment benefits. Is there an employee handbook that contains a severance policy? Is your lay-off (if that’s what it is) part of a larger layoff where the company is subject to the WARN act provisions? If your state is “at-will” for employment and you don’t have an employment contract, you are not necessarily entitled to severance (even 2-weeks pay in lieu of notice is not always required). A company may pay some sort of notice/severance pay in exchange for a signed release from the employee to avoid any legal issues or claims.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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8foot7
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by 8foot7 »

DolphinYay wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:27 am
So I log in on September 13 for a few minutes to let the X manager know that I'll pass on her temp project. I also let my manager know and I also say that on Friday he can tell the protocol of returning equipment, etc.
This wasn't a resignation until this point, at which point I would argue it became one.
This email didn't make me happy... I am not volunteerily resigning. They are pushing me out...
While it certainly seems like your manager has done a ham-handed job of this, once you decided to feel out the new position within the company and then (critically) decided to turn it down on your own accord, I can certainly see the argument that you have resigned. You should have accepted the new role, which would have made it clear you were not quitting. The company essentially told you if you want to continue here, you need to go do this other thing, and of course that's the thing you declined to do. Complicating this is telling the manager you wanted to know how to return equipment.
Two hours later my manager replied saying that he would call me on Monday to work everything out. So, this is tomorrow morning most likely.
This has bought you some time but it really doesn't change the ultimate result.
- Am I being laid off, terminated, downsized, or fired here? It doesn't sound that I am being fired because I didn't do anything improper and I was told that I was liked as an employee.
You were being laid off. Now you may well have resigned.
- When do people qualify to legally apply for unemployment benefits?
When your employment ends.
- If I decided to not seek a new job outside this company after I'm kicked out, can I still apply for unemployment?
This is the crux of the issue and you may have sunk your own battleship through your actions. If you resign, you cannot file for unemployment. If you are laid off, you generally can.
- I have no clue what this "everything working out" per my manager means
It means he's got to cover his tracks for mishandling the messaging to you.
but can I ask for a severence too? I would probably be denied and I don't know the policy at my company either.
You can ask. They can (and probably will) sy no at this point.
I just know that putting words in my mouth about a bogus resignation didn't make me feel happy.
Respectfully, it doesn't matter how you feel.
I was even considering to become a stay-at-home parent, but now I feel that I might seek another job if that's a requirement to qualify for unemployment because my company is being dishonest.
I'm not even really sure your company is being dishonest. They should have said your current position is being eliminated but there is an opportunity to continue working here by going into this other role. That's not dishonest. They're telling you what's going on. You're arguing over semantics, which admittedly they've handled poorly, but the end result is the same; they're not required to employ you forever and not doing so is not dishonest.
Nowizard
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Nowizard »

Basically, buy time. The employer will gradually verify if they "like" you enough to offer a comparable position, do not have others and are in difficulty as an organization, etc. Accept the short-term job after legitimately stating that the issues have been confusing in that they were unexpected. Consult with a knowledgeable person, presumably an attorney, to determine what impact accepting the short-term position may have on goals you define.

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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Californiastate »

CA UE leans heavily towards the employee. The employee needs a good reason to leave a company and still receive UE benefits. I can't see how moving laterally for the same money and schedule at the same location would qualify. Another thing is that UE benefits aren't that good. It's better to be earning a salary than manipulating the UE system.
7eight9
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by 7eight9 »

8foot7 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:28 am
- If I decided to not seek a new job outside this company after I'm kicked out, can I still apply for unemployment?
This is the crux of the issue and you may have sunk your own battleship through your actions. If you resign, you cannot file for unemployment. If you are laid off, you generally can.
It depends on why one resigns. Based on constructive termination one can resign and collect unemployment benefits.

I resigned a position, applied for unemployment benefits, was denied, appealed and WON based on constructive termination.

I personally know someone else who did the same with the same result.
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8foot7
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by 8foot7 »

7eight9 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:37 am
8foot7 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:28 am
- If I decided to not seek a new job outside this company after I'm kicked out, can I still apply for unemployment?
This is the crux of the issue and you may have sunk your own battleship through your actions. If you resign, you cannot file for unemployment. If you are laid off, you generally can.
It depends on why one resigns. Based on constructive termination one can resign and collect unemployment benefits.

I resigned a position, applied for unemployment benefits, was denied, appealed and WON based on constructive termination.

I personally know someone else who did the same with the same result.
Constructive termination means a lot of different things and is based on facts and circumstances and in particular the state involved. (There is a considerable argument that SC is the state in question here if OP is working at home because of pandemic-related reasons and was not employed in NC from the start of his or her role. SC's rules are not the same as NC rules.) One's employer reassigning an employee to another role with largely similar compensation, work hours, and level in the company is not necessarily constructive termination. It really depends.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
valleyrock
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by valleyrock »

HomeStretch wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:19 am Remember that “less is more” when speaking in tomorrow’s meeting.

Emphasize that you thought you were being terminated and that you are not resigning. Don’t add any more except to ask them to put in writing what your options are as your position is being eliminated.

If one of the options is the 3-month position and then being terminated, you will have to decide whether you want to take the 3-month temp job while you look for another job within or outside of the company.

If you don’t understand your options or believe the company is not following employment law/regulations, consult with an employment practices attorney for advice before accepting anything verbally or in writing.

You likely should have the right to unemployment benefits. Is there an employee handbook that contains a severance policy? If your state is “at-will” for employment and you don’t have an employment contract, you are not necessarily entitled to severance (even 2-weeks pay in lieu of notice is not always required). A company may pay some sort of notice/severance pay in exchange for a release from the employee to avoid any legal issues or claims.
My experience is that people who tell you to find a lawyer don't know how difficult it is to find a lawyer who knows what they're doing and who knows the specific areal of law you need, who has actual experience with the exact same issues as you, and who will simply charge you for an hour or two of time to basically tell you where you currently stand. More than likely, you'll find the opposite of all these things.

Better to check at the local library and online for some of the freely available pamphlets and specific to NC web information on your rights. It should not be difficult to find out what you should do under present circumstances, and to learn about when a person actually will need an attorney.

I wouldn't be so quick to assume that the company, and HR in particular, knows what they are doing to the point that they are trying to avoid your filing for unemployment insurance. First, keep in mind that you've already paid for that out of your paychecks, and the company has already paid in its share, as well. If they actually are trying to ease you out in some way, Iit's more than likely that these people just either are not very savvy and/or they are operating under a set of incorrect assumptions. But the situation is what it is.

Remember two things re unemployment insurance: 1. You've paid into it and you've earned it, so you ought not feel any social stigma, nor hesitancy, about filing for it, BUT 2. It will not pay nearly what you are making now.

I agree with those who say you can't very well refuse the other job they are offering. But see above re digging into free information on employer-employee relations. Three months is not long but it does does provide time to find another job. NC is a "right to work state," which means, ironically you have few job protections because while you have the right to work, companies have the right to fire you basically at will. But, there's still a lot of work out there. Saying "sure" and offering to be a team player and doing what is needed can help should you need, now or later, a job reference from your current employer. And there's one big factor also contributing to this recommendation: it's much, much easier to find a job if you have a job. (And remember, never knock your current employer when you are talking to potential new ones. Just say you're looking for new challenges, more responsibility, yada yada yada.)
HomeStretch
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by HomeStretch »

valleyrock wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:41 am
HomeStretch wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 11:19 am Remember that “less is more” when speaking in tomorrow’s meeting.

Emphasize that you thought you were being terminated and that you are not resigning. Don’t add any more except to ask them to put in writing what your options are as your position is being eliminated.

If one of the options is the 3-month position and then being terminated, you will have to decide whether you want to take the 3-month temp job while you look for another job within or outside of the company.

If you don’t understand your options or believe the company is not following employment law/regulations, consult with an employment practices attorney for advice before accepting anything verbally or in writing.

You likely should have the right to unemployment benefits. Is there an employee handbook that contains a severance policy? If your state is “at-will” for employment and you don’t have an employment contract, you are not necessarily entitled to severance (even 2-weeks pay in lieu of notice is not always required). A company may pay some sort of notice/severance pay in exchange for a release from the employee to avoid any legal issues or claims.
My experience is that people who tell you to find a lawyer don't know how difficult it is to find a lawyer who knows what they're doing and who knows the specific areal of law you need, who has actual experience with the exact same issues as you, and who will simply charge you for an hour or two of time to basically tell you where you currently stand. More than likely, you'll find the opposite of all these things.
With HR experience as well as having personally used an employment practices attorney for my employment contracts, I am aware that it may take time to identify an employment practices attorney. However, it’s still the right avenue for an employee if they feel they need expert advice. I do agree that for most employees in at-will states without an employment contract that there isn’t much the lawyer will be able to do for them aside from explaining their legal rights/options.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by galawdawg »

DolphinYay wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:27 am So I log in on September 13 for a few minutes to let the X manager know that I'll pass on her temp project. I also let my manager know and I also say that on Friday he can tell the protocol of returning equipment, etc.
What is the context of "returning equipment, etc" if you did not intend to resign?
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Normchad »

It sounds like your position is being eliminated.

Where I work, when we fire somebody, it is almost always done as a resignation. We sit down with them and say “hey, you can resign, or we will fire you. Which would you prefer?” And if they choose to resign, then we give them “pay in lieu of notice”. So they get something out of it too.

Unemployment benefits, to my understanding, are difficult to come by. Your employer can fight your unemployment claim. And for good size companies, they have “in house lawyers” and so,fighting those claims doesn’t really bother them much.

In your shoes, I would email your manager. Tell them you’d like the new position, and also be considered for other internal opportunities. And at the same time, start looking outside for better jobs. I disagree with the “lawyer up” mentality, I just don’t see how you will personally come out ahead.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

I believe that there are basically three ways that an employment is terminated:
Employer:
1) terminated
2) terminated for cause
Employee:
3) voluntary quit

Only "1" qualifies for unemployment benefits.
"1" or "3" look better on an employment history than "2".

I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:32 pm I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
Everybody is anti-HR? While a manager at Megacorp, HR was often my best friend. The HR function is widely misunderstood and, like many corporate functions, has various roles and responsibilities. I once had an issue that required me and a supervisor who worked for me to have a private meeting with the VP of HR. The man was a genius and provided outstanding guidance.

I believe that at the end of the day, it is the corporate legal function that is steering HR actions that are often perceived as "awful." There are many cogs in the big Megacorp wheel. 8-)
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Marseille07 »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 pm I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
What a jerk move. Why would they do that? It's not like they care if the former employee receives unemp from the state anyway, right?
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Beensabu »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:40 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 pm I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
What a jerk move. Why would they do that? It's not like they care if the former employee receives unemp from the state anyway, right?
Of course they care. It makes it more expensive for them. The employer is the one who paying into UI. The more claims, the more they have to pay. The rules vary from state to state.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by MP123 »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:40 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 pm I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
What a jerk move. Why would they do that? It's not like they care if the former employee receives unemp from the state anyway, right?
In many states unemployment insurance is calculated with an experience rating that reflects how often the employer's ex-employees use it. So it's in the employer's interest to minimize how often it's used to keep their unemployment premiums (tax) low.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Marseille07 »

Thank you, I wasn't aware the employer pitches in for UI. It still doesn't justify lying about the nature of employee departure though.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by BolderBoy »

snackdog wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:33 am Take the position they offered you immediately. They are saying your current position is gone and that is all they have to offer. If you refuse it, you are resigning which means no unemployment benefits.
+1. Do this tomorrow.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by billaster »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:40 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 pm I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
What a jerk move. Why would they do that? It's not like they care if the former employee receives unemp from the state anyway, right?
They care very much if the former employee receives unemployment benefits because their unemployment insurance rate is based on the number of claims. For example, in South Carolina in the poster's case, employer rates vary from 0.06% to 5.46% of wages depending on industry and history of claims. That's a potential difference by a factor of 100, which is a huge motivation to stick it to former employees in any way possible.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by TightButAggressive »

They eliminated your position. They offered you a new position. Those are the only two things to have happened so far. Don't speculate further. You either accept the new position or you decline the new position (resign). They may well eliminate your new position after 3 months (lay you off) or they may keep the new position but not you (fire you). But those haven't happened yet. Its tough news for sure. Don't let emotion get in the way of the rational choice in front of you. This is a typical corporate playbook and messaging, though maybe not well executed by your manager. Its possible there are other facets to this story that would require a lawyer, but the basic story you laid out is typical and not out of bounds legally. Assuming you want to be eligible for unemployment and appreciate a potential 3 month paid job seeking period, write back in email with whomever is on the cc lines and then discuss verbally in very simple terms: "I am not resigning. I accept the new assignment and look forward to the opportunity it provides."
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by TightButAggressive »

BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by 8foot7 »

TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
This is excellent advice that is universally true. Any apparent exceptions are simply temporary alignment of ordinarily competing interests.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by MP123 »

billaster wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:00 pm
Marseille07 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:40 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:34 pm I have known employers who fire a person and report to the state UI office that the employee quit. Fortunately, at least in some states, the burden is on the employer to provide proof that the employee was a voluntary quit.
What a jerk move. Why would they do that? It's not like they care if the former employee receives unemp from the state anyway, right?
They care very much if the former employee receives unemployment benefits because their unemployment insurance rate is based on the number of claims. For example, in South Carolina in the poster's case, employer rates vary from 0.06% to 5.46% of wages depending on industry and history of claims. That's a potential difference by a factor of 100, which is a huge motivation to stick it to former employees in any way possible.
I also note that SC appears to pay a maximum of $326/week for unemployment. OP should consider how attractive that might (or might not) be compared to the new position.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Beensabu »

Marseille07 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:52 pm Thank you, I wasn't aware the employer pitches in for UI. It still doesn't justify lying about the nature of employee departure though.
It doesn't at all. They do it, though. At a former employer, a person "vented" to me that they denied the unemployment claim that someone they had just terminated had filed. They did it because that person filed the same day they were terminated. I think they thought that person had been trying to get terminated so they could then collect unemployment. I just stood there in silence. The terminated person had worked there for several years, worn multiple hats, was incredibly sweet, never complained about anything, and had five kids. That sure changed my opinion of the person talking to me, and it only went downhill from there. More turnover in their department than any other. Bad hires + bad management + blaming the direct reports (the never ending stream of them) for their own failings. Fun times.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Beensabu »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
I have met such people. I've even met a person new to being HR who thought they represented the employees. All were shortly disabused of the notion.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

Beensabu wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:37 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
I have met such people. I've even met a person new to being HR who thought they represented the employees. All were shortly disabused of the notion.
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees. I work in HR and have seen a lot of my HR colleagues go above and beyond for employees when the company wanted to do something unethical.
Last edited by oilrig on Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:39 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:32 pm I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
Everybody is anti-HR? While a manager at Megacorp, HR was often my best friend. The HR function is widely misunderstood and, like many corporate functions, has various roles and responsibilities. I once had an issue that required me and a supervisor who worked for me to have a private meeting with the VP of HR. The man was a genius and provided outstanding guidance.

I believe that at the end of the day, it is the corporate legal function that is steering HR actions that are often perceived as "awful." There are many cogs in the big Megacorp wheel. 8-)
Everyone on here lol. Anytime someone brings up HR the comments on here are typically pretty negative. Heck, look at some of the comments on this thread.

I agree, a good HR person is invaluable to the company. The problem is there are a lot of bad/incompetent HR people out there.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by 8foot7 »

oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:53 pm
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees.
That is a dual mandate that is impossible to carry out in perpetuity. Think about it.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

8foot7 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:55 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:53 pm
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees.
That is a dual mandate that is impossible to carry out in perpetuity. Think about it.
Not true. Ive worked in HR for 12+ years with some solid HR colleagues. I've seen HR stick up for employees whenever the company wanted to do something unethical.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Beensabu »

oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:53 pm
Beensabu wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:37 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
I have met such people. I've even met a person new to being HR who thought they represented the employees. All were shortly disabused of the notion.
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees. I work in HR and have seen a lot of my HR colleagues go above and beyond for employees when the company wanted to do something unethical.
You work in a good department with good people, and I am happy for you and the employees in your company that have such a department there for them. Truly. Keep it up.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

Beensabu wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:03 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:53 pm
Beensabu wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:37 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
I have met such people. I've even met a person new to being HR who thought they represented the employees. All were shortly disabused of the notion.
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees. I work in HR and have seen a lot of my HR colleagues go above and beyond for employees when the company wanted to do something unethical.
You work in a good department with good people, and I am happy for you and the employees in your company that have such a department there for them. Truly. Keep it up.
Thank you! I just try to do what's right/ethical :)
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:55 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:39 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:32 pm I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
Everybody is anti-HR? While a manager at Megacorp, HR was often my best friend. The HR function is widely misunderstood and, like many corporate functions, has various roles and responsibilities. I once had an issue that required me and a supervisor who worked for me to have a private meeting with the VP of HR. The man was a genius and provided outstanding guidance.

I believe that at the end of the day, it is the corporate legal function that is steering HR actions that are often perceived as "awful." There are many cogs in the big Megacorp wheel. 8-)
Everyone on here lol. Anytime someone brings up HR the comments on here are typically pretty negative. Heck, look at some of the comments on this thread.

I agree, a good HR person is invaluable to the company. The problem is there are a lot of bad/incompetent HR people out there.
Am I not somebody "on here?"
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by stan1 »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
Yes, there are people who believe HR is basically the equivalent of a union rep at non-unionized employers.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by oilrig »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:15 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:55 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:39 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:32 pm I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
Everybody is anti-HR? While a manager at Megacorp, HR was often my best friend. The HR function is widely misunderstood and, like many corporate functions, has various roles and responsibilities. I once had an issue that required me and a supervisor who worked for me to have a private meeting with the VP of HR. The man was a genius and provided outstanding guidance.

I believe that at the end of the day, it is the corporate legal function that is steering HR actions that are often perceived as "awful." There are many cogs in the big Megacorp wheel. 8-)
Everyone on here lol. Anytime someone brings up HR the comments on here are typically pretty negative. Heck, look at some of the comments on this thread.

I agree, a good HR person is invaluable to the company. The problem is there are a lot of bad/incompetent HR people out there.
Am I not somebody "on here?"
Ok how about MOST (not all) posters on here are anti-HR lol.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:57 pm
8foot7 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:55 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:53 pm
A good HR person will act in the best interest of the company AND the employees.
That is a dual mandate that is impossible to carry out in perpetuity. Think about it.
Not true. Ive worked in HR for 12+ years with some solid HR colleagues. I've seen HR stick up for employees whenever the company wanted to do something unethical.
Well, technically, if you are aware of something unethical you are "sticking up" for yourself by acting on it. At the Megacorp I knew, being aware of unethical issues imposed a responsibility. That said, pushing back on unethical actions is in the best interest of BOTH the company the the employee.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

8-)
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:18 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:15 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:55 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:39 pm
oilrig wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:32 pm I know everyone is generally anti-HR on here, but in this case I would go straight to the HR Manager/Director, explain the situation, and see what they have to say.
Everybody is anti-HR? While a manager at Megacorp, HR was often my best friend. The HR function is widely misunderstood and, like many corporate functions, has various roles and responsibilities. I once had an issue that required me and a supervisor who worked for me to have a private meeting with the VP of HR. The man was a genius and provided outstanding guidance.

I believe that at the end of the day, it is the corporate legal function that is steering HR actions that are often perceived as "awful." There are many cogs in the big Megacorp wheel. 8-)
Everyone on here lol. Anytime someone brings up HR the comments on here are typically pretty negative. Heck, look at some of the comments on this thread.

I agree, a good HR person is invaluable to the company. The problem is there are a lot of bad/incompetent HR people out there.
Am I not somebody "on here?"
Ok how about MOST (not all) posters on here are anti-HR lol.
8-)
A house and a job. Once the American dream. Two things I'll never again have. Life is simple (and good).
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by FreddieFIRE »

stan1 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:18 pm
FreddieFIRE wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:34 pm
TightButAggressive wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:07 pm BTW, if no one has ever shared this before, take it to be true. HR doesn't represent you, they represent the company.
I've never met a person who believes that HR represents "them." Have you?
Yes, there are people who believe HR is basically the equivalent of a union rep at non-unionized employers.
They must be new. LOL.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by JackoC »

BolderBoy wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:55 pm
snackdog wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:33 am Take the position they offered you immediately. They are saying your current position is gone and that is all they have to offer. If you refuse it, you are resigning which means no unemployment benefits.
+1. Do this tomorrow.
That sounds like a reasonable default position as a not an employment lawyer in the Carolinas: treat it like you're being given a different set of responsibilities in the same 'job' in the legal sense, IT company X is still your employer, and if you turn that down you are quitting. Don't quit but continue to work there while looking for another job, basically.

But this company has a quite confusing communication culture, or at least OP and his current manager do. The manager really only said "You know we are looking to all the different revenue and expense drivers and what we do in our department to make us successful and you know there's not much what you do here, but you know we like you and maybe we can find something within the company, maybe look on the intranet". no more direct statement about such a major thing (for OP at least, indicates the manager might not care much) could be coaxed out of the manager? :shock: Then it's also hard to see how OP is surprised an email saying 'I don't want the new position, how do I return my equipment' wouldn't be interpreted as 'I resign'.

But I'm curious how an employment lawyer with experience in NC/SC would interpret this. Could it be that the manager's statement was essentially 'you're fired'? How does 'you don't do much here, go look for another job on the company intranet' stack up legally? How about if your position is 'I don't want to look on the intranet, I want to continue my present job', is that resigning or being fired? Again I agree the practical course of action at time 0 w/o consulting a lawyer is not to refuse the 'new job'. But it might be worth consulting a lawyer. I say that based on experience albeit in a different state where a significant % of people I or subordinates had to dismiss came back with lawyers (not just intemperate comments about getting lawyers when understandably upset) and the position of senior management was generally to pay such people to go away, not standing on principle that we hadn't done anything wrong (corroborated by generally modest boosts in severance making them go away). That management was terrified of being dragged into court though, this company could be different. Also, not to get into explicit discussion of sensitive topics with political dimension, it matters practically if OP could be included in a 'protected class' under labor laws.
Last edited by JackoC on Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by Katietsu »

galawdawg wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:09 pm
DolphinYay wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:27 am So I log in on September 13 for a few minutes to let the X manager know that I'll pass on her temp project. I also let my manager know and I also say that on Friday he can tell the protocol of returning equipment, etc.
What is the context of "returning equipment, etc" if you did not intend to resign?
If so were the manager, I would assume this meant that the employee was resigning.

If the company eliminates your position and you decline an offer of a different position, you have resigned.

OP, why do you feel the company is being dishonest?
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Re: Am I being terminated or fired/laid-off? Employer says I'm resigning :x)

Post by toddthebod »

DolphinYay wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 10:27 am [Y]ou know there's not much what you do here, but you know we like you and maybe we can find something within the company, maybe look on the intranet. I know that this X manager is looking for somebody to fill in a back-fill position in the AR for 3 months, but you can keep looking for something else in the company in the interim. Would you be interested in talking to the X manager?"

So I log in on September 13 for a few minutes to let the X manager know that I'll pass on her temp project. I also let my manager know and I also say that on Friday he can tell the protocol of returning equipment, etc.
Yeah, you resigned. Hopefully it's not to late to undo.
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