You are sitting in your office one day when the boss/supervisor/HR person asks for a moment of your time. They wonder if you can join them in the conference room for a few minutes.
Alert! You are about to get canned/sacked/fired/laid off! Get ready!
Now, this may be something as simple as a warning, or perhaps the meeting is to clear up an issue in the company. Regardless, you will not be able to run away and deal with it after lunch. You need an action plan.
Before you do, scroll down and read the caveats at the end of this blog post. You have been warned!
First, pick up a notebook, pad or paper of some sort and a writing implement.
Lock your computer or workstation.
Take your purse or other personal affects if they are on your desk.
Follow the company representative to their designated meeting place.
Let them talk.
If it goes like this:
"Bob/Jane, I wanted to speak with you today about your performance/a recent development/your work. It seems that you have been lacking/distracted/not doing your job and there are going to be some changes. We have decided to let you go today and wanted to go over the terms of your separation".
At this point, you are probably thinking about your family, car payment, mortgage, kids college, etc. Stop!
You should only be thinking about the following things:
Who is talking to you? Is it only your boss or supervisor? Is anyone else in the room?
(If not, insist that another supervisor or manager be brought in as well as a representative from HR immediately.
Has the person speaking with you provided documentation regarding the termination?
(If not, ask for it. This means a statement which says your job is being terminated, the date and possibly the reason why as well as terms for your serverance).
After the appropriate people and items have been produced, here is my advice as to what to do next.
1) "If you do not want me, I do not want to be here".
If the company wants to get rid of you, then do you really want to fight to stay? Listen to what they have to say. Point out any inaccuracies if appropriate. Then make your statement "Clearly I am not needed here any longer. I do not want to stay where I am not wanted. So now all we have to discuss is my separation terms".
2) "Your offer is not acceptable".
Sometimes, a company will offer a great exit package. Typically, this happens during a mass layoff or cost savings move. A good package may include 3,4 or 6 months salary, retraining, resume and job search assistance, full extended health benefits beyond your last day of employment, bonuses, stock option payouts, and unused vacation time, take them and thank them.
However, if you get a bum deal, call it what it is. This could include a termination package of salary only for hours worked or two weeks pay. Unacceptable in any circumstances short of company bancruptcy.
I submit my suggestion:
"I have been here X amount of time during which I have never been formerly reprimanded. In addition, I have been a top performer and revenue generator for this company. Finally, as you know, my aged mother recently moved in my family. While I appreciate your offer, I feel it is not enough for the service and contribution I have made to this company. My couter offer is six weeks pay, all unused vacation and personal time, my company end of year bonus prorated upon time worked and medical insurance for three additional months after termination".
What is the worse that could happen? They say no? If anything they may negotiate from your vantage rather than start at theirs.
3) "No autographs today"
If your employer will not negotiate any of your requests, you MAY have one more ace up your sleeve. The employer, as part of the exit process, may ask you to sign a waiver absolving them of any future litigation or claims. Depending upon the company position, not signing that form could make their lives slightly miserable. After all, you have just left an unturned stone to deal with down the line. Remember, this is not a suggestion, just a possibility.
YOU MAY WANT TO offer to sign the document conditional upon their delivering some of your requests. It cannot hurt.
- If you deserve to get fired, none of the above applies.
- If the company has documentation which backs their case, you will most likely get nothing.
- If you are broke and have bills due, that two week offer may be the best you can afford to take today. All bets are off.
- I am not an attorney and have no idea what the labor laws are like where live. Information here is my point of view, for entertainment purposes only and not meant to be legal advice. Consult a lawyer for more options.
- Terminations vary from location to location, check your local labor laws before applying this or any other unsolicited advice found on the internet.
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