Author Topic: Fired an employee for cause - Story  (Read 7171 times)

kevinb421

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Fired an employee for cause - Story
« on: October 15, 2019, 10:38:17 AM »
I can't tell many people this story in person, but this happened yesterday and has to be one of the craziest examples of entitlement I have ever experienced.

Background: I am the CFO of an organization and therefore have managers that report to me. One of my newest managers had been having serious problems with an employee for almost a year. This employee needed to be let go months ago, but I coached the manager along the way and let her make the decision on her own. Finally we decided to let her go last Friday. This is the first termination we have had in a few years and I made the decision to give this person a very soft landing. We gave them 8 weeks of severance, a commitment to not dispute unemployment, and pay their benefits through the end of the month.
To summarize - We fired this person with cause(good causes) and STILL decided to give them severance.

Let them go on Friday, they got upset, packed up and left. Then yesterday (the next business day) this employee called me on my cell phone and after a few minutes of conversation asked me for an additional month of severance. The justification? The severance we gave them was simply not enough to cover them having to move to MN (where their parent's live) and she needs another month of severance to cover those costs.

The level of entitlement is crazy on it's own, but this was a professional position. The severance we gave was $8,500! I know this person rents here so despite this person living paycheck to paycheck I can't envision a world where $8,500 doesn't cover renting a Uhaul, first and last month rent at a new place and some gas.

There were so many things that happened here that seemed insane to me. I thought we were really going above and beyond by offering her this despite the fact we fired her. Any outside opinions? Am I the person wrong here? I sure feel like I'm in bizzaro land on this one.

BECABECA

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2019, 10:55:23 AM »
Youíre probably not wrong, especially given that both you and the manager you supervise came to the same conclusion that this employee needed to go. Somebody who needs to be fired for cause is also typically somebody who doesnít have a realistic view of their value to a company. And the way this employee is handling a very generous severance when they should have been outright fired should just make you more sure that the decision to fire them was the right choice.

35andFI

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2019, 11:01:16 AM »
That was nice of your company to offer the severance.
As you know, you went above and beyond there and didn't have to do that.

Quote
The level of entitlement is crazy on it's own, but this was a professional position. The severance we gave was $8,500! I know this person rents here so despite this person living paycheck to paycheck I can't envision a world where $8,500 doesn't cover renting a Uhaul, first and last month rent at a new place and some gas.
I wouldn't waste brain space thinking about how much their moving expenses might be as that is irrelevant.
It is not up to the employer to pay for someone to move after they are no longer with the company.

Good luck. Sounds like they are just trying to get as much as they can from your company.
How does the saying go? Give an inch, they take a mile?

bbates728

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 11:53:58 AM »
Everything is a negotiation. Yes it is crazy to expect more money in severance but it is also crazy to not ask when you have already been so generous.

BabyShark

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2019, 12:15:24 PM »
Yea I don't necessarily blame her for asking (though you obviously were very generous) but trying to justify it because "it's not enough to cover them having to move" is ridiculous. 

PrairieBeardstache

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2019, 02:23:25 PM »
This is the first termination we have had in a few years and I made the decision to give this person a very soft landing. We gave them 8 weeks of severance, a commitment to not dispute unemployment, and pay their benefits through the end of the month.
To summarize - We fired this person with cause(good causes) and STILL decided to give them severance.

...

There were so many things that happened here that seemed insane to me. I thought we were really going above and beyond by offering her this despite the fact we fired her. Any outside opinions? Am I the person wrong here? I sure feel like I'm in bizzaro land on this one.

I used to work for a company that also gave generous severances when we chose to fire someone (In one case I was further angered that HR wanted me to give a guy I was firing far more than I thought was appropriate given the circumstances, but ultimately, they were right). It's the right thing to do, and should there be disputes (there often are as terminated employees will bring you to court) reasonable courts will see that you did more than you were legally required to.

But still my experience is that a vast majority of people, especially those being fired for cause, are unable to see the reality in front of them and distort it in unexpected ways.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 02:30:20 PM »
Holy crap no you're not in the wrong and this ex employee is beyond the pale.

I think it was amazingly generous to offer them any severance. You honestly were being super awesome just offering to not contest unemployment!

I hope you got off that call quick and didn't promise her anything in addition. I kind of hope you told her (politely icy) that she was already given an extremely generous exit package considering you did fire her for performance issues and that she may want to temper her expectations in her future employment. Not your job to set her straight but that entitlement is likely the reason she's running home to live with the parents; she's unlikely to have realized she's supposed to be responsible for herself and should have been working harder at keeping her job (I assume she was given lots of room to improve and a PIP? so she is a dumbass if she didn't see this coming and start saving $ or gotten another job before she was fired)

Seriously, I've never heard of a company being so nice to a jerk worker.

kevinb421

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 02:44:37 PM »
Oh yeah I shut it down really quickly in writing.
I just wanted to share the amazing amount of entitlement and a person that has always been terrible with money learning nothing. That amount of severance would fund my life for months and I believe this person truly believes it was not enough to cover a simple move.

For what it's worth this person had many, many conversations including the "This is the last time we will talk."

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 02:46:56 PM »
The only thing relevant to her severance is her relationship with the company. The fact that she asked for more based on what she needed at the time is pretty strange. Why should you be expected to care about her post-employment issues?

therethere

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2019, 03:25:52 PM »
This can all be answered by the very popular, yet my most hated phrase "It doesn't hurt to ask."



iris lily

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 08:31:21 AM »
This can all be answered by the very popular, yet my most hated phrase "It doesn't hurt to ask."

Agreed! I so agree with this! Yes I hate being asked for stuff just like I hate asking for things.

flipboard

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2019, 12:05:07 PM »
It's a tough situation for the employee. In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective. Depending on rental contract they may have to keep paying their rent locally for quite some time, so it's not hard to understand why there might be more costs than what you claim in your post - although to be fair it's their choice to move (but can they find a different job locally - if not then moving would be more than justified).

Especially if a new manager is having issues with their subordinate, I'd be looking for more sides to the story. It takes two to Tango, and yes there are bad hires, but management is also crucial.

Malkynn

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2019, 12:18:35 PM »
If you gave them severance, then why bother going through the odious legal process of firing them with cause?
This makes no sense to me. Isn't one of the benefits of paying severance not having to bother with cause?

I imagine that this person's sense of entitlement probably contributed to the reasons they were terminated in the first place. So it's not surprising they continued on with entitlement/impertinence.

PrairieBeardstache

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2019, 12:44:02 PM »
If you gave them severance, then why bother going through the odious legal process of firing them with cause?

*legal* process of firing with cause? Perhaps you work for the government or within a large union?

There is no legal process to follow to fire someone with cause - just laws that you should abide by if you choose to do so.  But there's no process. Best practice is to have documentation for the reasons should they decide to bring you to court. You can fire someone at any time, for any reason you want.

Fishindude

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2019, 12:51:38 PM »
You were very generous.
Hope she doesn't ride the unemployment gravy train for the full length while living with parents.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2019, 12:56:51 PM »
In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective.

What do you consider a civilized country?

In my Province in Canada, which is a pretty civilized place, pay in lieu of notice (eg: severance) is:
<3 months gets nothing
3 months or more but less than 2 years: 1 week
2 years or more but less than 5 years: 2 weeks
5 years or more but less than 10 years: 4 weeks
10 years or more: 8 weeks* (*NS has special rules around terminating a 10+ year employee for no cause - 8 weeks if all Employer criteria is met but often the period is more than 8 weeks)

Malkynn

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2019, 12:57:14 PM »
If you gave them severance, then why bother going through the odious legal process of firing them with cause?

*legal* process of firing with cause? Perhaps you work for the government or within a large union?

There is no legal process to follow to fire someone with cause - just laws that you should abide by if you choose to do so.  But there's no process. Best practice is to have documentation for the reasons should they decide to bring you to court. You can fire someone at any time, for any reason you want.

Neither. I work in a small business of only a dozen staff.

In my jurisdiction, you can very easily end up in court firing someone with cause unless you have very clear documentation and processes.

Technically, yes, I could fire anyone for any cause, but the consequences could be brutal if I'm not careful.

Laura33

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2019, 08:35:17 AM »
If you gave them severance, then why bother going through the odious legal process of firing them with cause?

*legal* process of firing with cause? Perhaps you work for the government or within a large union?

There is no legal process to follow to fire someone with cause - just laws that you should abide by if you choose to do so.  But there's no process. Best practice is to have documentation for the reasons should they decide to bring you to court. You can fire someone at any time, for any reason you want.

Neither. I work in a small business of only a dozen staff.

In my jurisdiction, you can very easily end up in court firing someone with cause unless you have very clear documentation and processes.

Technically, yes, I could fire anyone for any cause, but the consequences could be brutal if I'm not careful.

When we fire someone with cause, we offer severance because we combine that with a waiver of all claims against us.  So if they think they have a claim, they can refuse the severance and talk to a lawyer.  But if they want the money -- and pretty much everyone does -- then we are protected against those kinds of lawsuits.

Maenad

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2019, 10:27:35 AM »
It's a tough situation for the employee. In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective. Depending on rental contract they may have to keep paying their rent locally for quite some time, so it's not hard to understand why there might be more costs than what you claim in your post - although to be fair it's their choice to move (but can they find a different job locally - if not then moving would be more than justified).

Especially if a new manager is having issues with their subordinate, I'd be looking for more sides to the story. It takes two to Tango, and yes there are bad hires, but management is also crucial.

It's not like they were marched out the door with no warning. The OP said:

For what it's worth this person had many, many conversations including the "This is the last time we will talk."

This sounds like a case where the employee got tons of warning that their performance was not acceptable, and rather than change behavior, or search for a new job once the warnings started, they chose to stick around until they were finally fired. The "tough situation" is of their own making.

I've been in a job that was a bad fit and these types of discussions started. After the first meeting, I brushed up my resume and found a new job that worked better for me.

JLee

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2019, 10:52:29 AM »
It's a tough situation for the employee. In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective. Depending on rental contract they may have to keep paying their rent locally for quite some time, so it's not hard to understand why there might be more costs than what you claim in your post - although to be fair it's their choice to move (but can they find a different job locally - if not then moving would be more than justified).

Especially if a new manager is having issues with their subordinate, I'd be looking for more sides to the story. It takes two to Tango, and yes there are bad hires, but management is also crucial.

You need a month's notice to fire someone with cause..?  That doesn't make any sense to me. Let's say a bank employee was caught stealing -- you have to keep them employed for another month?

Linea_Norway

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2019, 12:38:11 PM »
It's a tough situation for the employee. In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective. Depending on rental contract they may have to keep paying their rent locally for quite some time, so it's not hard to understand why there might be more costs than what you claim in your post - although to be fair it's their choice to move (but can they find a different job locally - if not then moving would be more than justified).

Especially if a new manager is having issues with their subordinate, I'd be looking for more sides to the story. It takes two to Tango, and yes there are bad hires, but management is also crucial.

You need a month's notice to fire someone with cause..?  That doesn't make any sense to me. Let's say a bank employee was caught stealing -- you have to keep them employed for another month?

If they need to keep such a person employed, that means the person should stay home while getting paid that last defined period. Or the employee gets the money as a lump sum when being fired.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 02:11:54 AM by Linea_Norway »

BlueHouse

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2019, 01:09:52 PM »
This can all be answered by the very popular, yet my most hated phrase "It doesn't hurt to ask."

Everything can be negotiated.  If this were a member of your immediate family, you would tell her to ask for more.  It's not about what's fair.  The point is, she should try to get as much as possible.  Nothing personal

You feel like you went above and beyond for this person and that she should be grateful, but she's only seeing this from her perspective. 

I got laid off once by a big mega corp implosion and the guy who delivered the message was obviously upset that he had to let so many people go, but the minute he said that it was probably harder for him than it was for me, I said no fucking way was I letting him off easy.  He got to go home to his family and have a glass of wine and a meal and go to sleep and wake up and have a job that paid him money.  I had to start scrambling and worry about how to pay my bills.   

Funny thing was, I had only been working for the company 4 weeks, I was praying I would be swept up in the lay-offs, and when I was, the minimum severance included more paid weeks than I had worked there.   I was thrilled -- except for that asshat's comments. 

So I say, have some compassion for someone that is out of a job and ask yourself whether you could have done anything to give her better skills or better expectations about the job.  Your post says you worked with her manager, but who worked with the employee to see if things could improve?  You want a better world?  Build it! 

mm1970

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2019, 01:27:49 PM »
Quote
I got laid off once by a big mega corp implosion and the guy who delivered the message was obviously upset that he had to let so many people go, but the minute he said that it was probably harder for him than it was for me, I said no fucking way was I letting him off easy.  He got to go home to his family and have a glass of wine and a meal and go to sleep and wake up and have a job that paid him money.  I had to start scrambling and worry about how to pay my bills.   
This will depend GREATLY on the person and the situation.

In many many cases, the person doing the layoff is going to be affected mentally/ emotionally for a very long time.  They are going to be stuck in the flux of work after a big layoff.  They are likely going to absorb a lot more work for no more pay.  Ask me how I know.  And also: everyone that I know of that has gotten laid off from my company was in a MUCH better job with more pay within 6 months.

Of course, some people are going to be way worse off, if they are the only income or they don't make enough money or live paycheck to paycheck or need the health insurance, etc.

Very situation dependent.

BlueHouse

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2019, 02:04:37 PM »
Quote
I got laid off once by a big mega corp implosion and the guy who delivered the message was obviously upset that he had to let so many people go, but the minute he said that it was probably harder for him than it was for me, I said no fucking way was I letting him off easy.  He got to go home to his family and have a glass of wine and a meal and go to sleep and wake up and have a job that paid him money.  I had to start scrambling and worry about how to pay my bills.   
This will depend GREATLY on the person and the situation.

In many many cases, the person doing the layoff is going to be affected mentally/ emotionally for a very long time.  They are going to be stuck in the flux of work after a big layoff.  They are likely going to absorb a lot more work for no more pay.  Ask me how I know.  And also: everyone that I know of that has gotten laid off from my company was in a MUCH better job with more pay within 6 months.

Of course, some people are going to be way worse off, if they are the only income or they don't make enough money or live paycheck to paycheck or need the health insurance, etc.

Very situation dependent.

Of course, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that whoever is the one WITHOUT THE CHOICE in the matter is worse off at that moment. 
We tend to forget how bad things are for a lot of people because we have our shit together NOW... but back when I was on the other end of layoffs, we had to consider the day of the week because statistically more people killed themselves if they were laid off on a Friday. 

Should we say "oh poor Tom.  He laid off the lucky stiff who shot himself on Friday night"? 

blue_green_sparks

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2019, 02:15:13 PM »
This was the worse part of being a manager in my opinion.  I would put poor performers on a 6 month recovery plan with measurable goals and if they failed it was very obvious to all and well documented. There was a token severance and immediate dismissal for security reasons. For those who broke important ethical rules it was immediate dismissal. You were more than generous.

saguaro

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2019, 03:42:04 PM »
Of course, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that whoever is the one WITHOUT THE CHOICE in the matter is worse off at that moment. 

When I got involuntarily terminated from a job many years ago, I remember the shock and the fear running through my head while I was sitting there.   Taking in what was happening but at the same time, wondering what you are going to do next, what next moves to take to get the bills paid.    While down the line it can be an entirely different situation but at that moment, sitting across from the person who is terminating them,  the person being fired is the worse off.   In my case, down the line was a lot worse for former boss and coworkers than it was for me, but I didn't know it or feel that at that moment.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2019, 06:18:31 PM »
Quote
I got laid off once by a big mega corp implosion and the guy who delivered the message was obviously upset that he had to let so many people go, but the minute he said that it was probably harder for him than it was for me, I said no fucking way was I letting him off easy.  He got to go home to his family and have a glass of wine and a meal and go to sleep and wake up and have a job that paid him money.  I had to start scrambling and worry about how to pay my bills.   
This will depend GREATLY on the person and the situation.

In many many cases, the person doing the layoff is going to be affected mentally/ emotionally for a very long time.  They are going to be stuck in the flux of work after a big layoff.  They are likely going to absorb a lot more work for no more pay.  Ask me how I know.  And also: everyone that I know of that has gotten laid off from my company was in a MUCH better job with more pay within 6 months.

Of course, some people are going to be way worse off, if they are the only income or they don't make enough money or live paycheck to paycheck or need the health insurance, etc.

Very situation dependent.

Of course, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that whoever is the one WITHOUT THE CHOICE in the matter is worse off at that moment. 
We tend to forget how bad things are for a lot of people because we have our shit together NOW... but back when I was on the other end of layoffs, we had to consider the day of the week because statistically more people killed themselves if they were laid off on a Friday. 

Should we say "oh poor Tom.  He laid off the lucky stiff who shot himself on Friday night"?

Up in the Air with George Clooney looked at exactly this.

SwordGuy

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2019, 07:17:09 AM »
Of course, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that whoever is the one WITHOUT THE CHOICE in the matter is worse off at that moment. 
[/quote]

Yes, but the person giving the notice is rarely one of the people who had anything to do with the decision over who got laid off.   The people who make those decisions hand a list to various flunkies, who delegate it to anyone else below them until the poor schlub one level above you gets the instructions to deliver the lay off notice to you.

The choice they have is to do it or possibly lose their job, too.   

So, yes, they are better off than you are at the moment but that's no reason to treat them like dirt either.

On a related note, that of being the bearer of bad news:

Personally, I would rather attack a machine gun pillbox than deliver 100 flags to the families of dead soldiers.   My odds of living thru the machine gun attack are higher. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2019, 09:10:51 AM »
Of course, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that whoever is the one WITHOUT THE CHOICE in the matter is worse off at that moment. 

Yes, but the person giving the notice is rarely one of the people who had anything to do with the decision over who got laid off.   The people who make those decisions hand a list to various flunkies, who delegate it to anyone else below them until the poor schlub one level above you gets the instructions to deliver the lay off notice to you.

The choice they have is to do it or possibly lose their job, too.   

So, yes, they are better off than you are at the moment but that's no reason to treat them like dirt either.

On a related note, that of being the bearer of bad news:

Personally, I would rather attack a machine gun pillbox than deliver 100 flags to the families of dead soldiers.   My odds of living thru the machine gun attack are higher.
[/quote]

Look, I get it.  I've been on both sides of the table and they both suck.  But my description of my story includes that the guy who was laying me off, (who barely knew me BTW) said TO MY FACE, as part of the conversation "this is harder for me than it is for you".   

The company was probably in the top 20 largest companies in the world at the time and it was dropping people because of fraud.  Its actions destroyed the lives of many of its employees.  But it was structured well enough that there were written scripts for managers to speak to for each RIF.  This guy went off script because he felt his own guilt was more important than my livelihood.  That's all there was to it in my case. 

At no point did I "treat him like dirt".  I simply tortured him by making him say the words.  He was looking for me to say "Oh, I'm part of the layoff. okay, what's the severance deal?"  Instead, I made him say the words "YOU ARE PART OF THE RIF".  Once he was man enough to say it, then I let him off easy and just asked him for the packet of info and said I'd review it at home. 

Firing people sucks too, I agree.  But no one should ever be surprised that they are being fired...remedial action and improvement plans should have been in place long before.  In the case of the OP, there wasn't enough info to know whether or not the employee had been coached sufficiently by the manager.  My point is, that no matter how entitled someone is, getting fired is a life changing event that sucks and it sucks hard.  Having to tell your family that someone else judged you as not good enough, for whatever reason, is a real ego-crusher. 

I honestly had no negative opinion on the OP's post until seeing others' comments about "what nerve" and "how selfish" or "no self-awareness" irritated me because ...of course you think about yourself.  Why wouldn't you? 
 


BlueHouse

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2019, 09:26:59 AM »

Up in the Air with George Clooney looked at exactly this.

I remember a sense of doom and depression when watching this film.  I think I was experiencing a lot of uncertainty in my career at the time, so i didn't find it funny.  Maybe it's worth watching again?

RetiredAt63

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2019, 01:56:14 PM »

Up in the Air with George Clooney looked at exactly this.

I remember a sense of doom and depression when watching this film.  I think I was experiencing a lot of uncertainty in my career at the time, so i didn't find it funny.  Maybe it's worth watching again?

Was it billed as humour?  It wasn't funny, they were laying people off, he was beginning to realize his life was empty.  I would classify it as drama, it was sad in a lot of ways.  It had 4 Oscar nominees.

iris lily

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2019, 04:33:07 PM »

Up in the Air with George Clooney looked at exactly this.

I remember a sense of doom and depression when watching this film.  I think I was experiencing a lot of uncertainty in my career at the time, so i didn't find it funny.  Maybe it's worth watching again?

It is always worth watching for St. Louis scenes. George Clooney was in my neighborhood on the doorstep of my friendís house for a day while they shot a scene.They blew in artificial snow to make it look like a Chicago winter.

The production company took the doors off of Davidís house and replaced them with other doors, then put the original doors back after shooting was complete.. They also replaced the flooring in the front entryway  of his house. This was all for a scene that lasted about a minute or two.

We all stood around and watched George Clooney and we couldnít get too close I was half a block away. He is very thin.

partgypsy

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »
I would describe up in the air as black humor.

Man. I have self-diagnosed myself with anxiety, in that even though I perform well at school, work, I always feel the damocles sword over my head. In school I had anxiety dreams of forgetting about big tests, or my locker combination, or that I was enrolled in some class I just realized. I've had a number of office space style dreams where I show up and I've been fired or my job has been eliminated and no one told me.

Anyways I and my coworker had our respective performance reviews yesterday, and the worst happened. I mean my performance review was good, but my coworker, is being taken off the study. She will basically be a floater, and the next renewal period if she is not attached to monied study, not sure what will happen.
I have to admit she wasn't the easiest person to work with, but I don't think she got a heads up at all about this (no official warnings, etc, though we have had meetings about mistakes she's made and how to address/reduce them). Today is better but I felt awful about it because I can imagine how that feels. another very good reason to get financially more self sufficient so this kind of thing doesn't feel so scary.   
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 02:28:08 PM by partgypsy »

Sugaree

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2019, 05:05:19 AM »
I would describe up in the air as black humor.

Man. I have self-diagnosed myself with anxiety, in that even though I perform well at school, work, I always feel the damocles sword over my head. In school I had anxiety dreams of forgetting about big tests, or my locker combination, or that I was enrolled in some class I just realized. I've had a number of office space style dreams where I show up and I've been fired or my job has been eliminated and no one told me.

Anyways I and my coworker had our respective performance reviews yesterday, and the worst happened. I mean my performance review was good, but my coworker, is being taken off the study. She will basically be a floater, and the next renewal period if she is not attached to monied study, not sure what will happen.
I have to admit she wasn't the easiest person to work with, but I don't think she got a heads up at all about this (no official warnings, etc, though we have had meetings about mistakes she's made and how to address/reduce them). Today is better but I felt awful about it because I can imagine how that feels. another very good reason to get financially more self sufficient so this kind of thing doesn't feel so scary.

Impostor syndrome.  It's apparently enough of a thing that I've seen presentations advertised at at least two different conferences that I've attended. 

UpNAtom

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2019, 10:11:36 AM »
When we fire someone with cause, we offer severance because we combine that with a waiver of all claims against us.  So if they think they have a claim, they can refuse the severance and talk to a lawyer.  But if they want the money -- and pretty much everyone does -- then we are protected against those kinds of lawsuits.
In most cases that will end it since it likely is beneficial to both parties. 
It does however come down to where and how it was done.  Depending on the words used (verbal / written), the signing of said release can be thrown out if it was deemed to be made under duress or fraudulently or without advising of specific rights (which depend on the jurisdiction where it is happening).

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2019, 03:51:01 AM »
In most civilised countries you'd have to give at least 1 months notice (more for longer term employees), so 8 weeks severance isn't particularly generous from that perspective.

What do you consider a civilized country?

In my Province in Canada, which is a pretty civilized place, pay in lieu of notice (eg: severance) is:
<3 months gets nothing
3 months or more but less than 2 years: 1 week
2 years or more but less than 5 years: 2 weeks
5 years or more but less than 10 years: 4 weeks
10 years or more: 8 weeks* (*NS has special rules around terminating a 10+ year employee for no cause - 8 weeks if all Employer criteria is met but often the period is more than 8 weeks)

I get six months' severance or notice and I've been here less than a year. I'm in the UK and think mine is higher than what's required legally but it's typical for my sector/company. Some people are on 12.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2019, 02:04:58 PM »
I do agree that it is silly to ask for more severance because it does not cover your personal expenses. People with more personal expenses should not get more severance. 

This does not quite fit my definition of entitlement. I consider entitlement to be when someone says, "I deserve this and I deserve that."

My rental contracts state that if they break the lease, it will cost them 3 months rent. 

My step-dad owns a small engineering firm and had to fire a good employee due to budget cuts. They had the least amount of tenure at the company and they were the first to go. They said that they couldn't afford to get fired because they just bought a new car and signed a new lease on an apartment. He said, "I'm sorry to hear that, but we still have to let you go."


 

nancyfrank232

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Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2019, 06:23:30 PM »
Iím glad I live in Canada

Long term employees are entitled to generous severance packages in lieu of notice, when terminated. And itís virtually impossible to terminate ďwith causeĒ. Employers always have to pay out

Itís one of the few times that I appreciate our socialist environment (and when I need healthcare)
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 08:03:08 PM by nancyfrank232 »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2019, 09:24:34 PM »
Interesting to read of these experiences.

In Australia, there exists casual employment and permanent employment.

With casual employment, shifts can be cancelled with at least two hours' notice, and "firing" can be effected simply by not giving the person any more shifts. Casual workers receive +25% on their hourly rate in lieu of leave entitlements. If they do at least six months of more or less regular shifts they can ask to make these permanent, and this request cannot be reasonably refused.

Legal challenges to termination of casual employment are difficult, since the employer will claim, "we just didn't have work for them any more", so the employee will have to assert racial discrimination or the like.

With permanent employment, there's an initial trial period of 3-6 months where employment can be terminated without notice and with no reason given, and after that there's a legal process, of two verbal and two written warnings that if behaviour X continues, employment will be terminated; instruction must be offered to improve the behaviour, etc, and time allowed between warnings to do this. The exception is for "gross misconduct", such as theft or violence in the workplace, or the discovery of fraud in qualifications, gross violations of health and safety, etc, where termination can be immediate.

Aside from that, there's just redundancy, but the courts are nowadays wise to the trick of firing someone at pay band X and hiring someone else for the same position at pay band X-10%.

In either case, special provisions exist for smaller businesses (fewer than 15 employees) which necessarily have less rigorous procedures and resources to deal with HR issues.

Legal challenges to termination of permanent employment are much more common and have wider grounds.

The consequence of the above is that much of employment has become casual, since you can effectively hire and fire at will, so long as you're smart enough to not mouth off about minority groups or something and open yourself up to a discrimination suit. But also, generally speaking someone fired with cause will receive... nothing. Except any remaining leave entitlements, and the pay of the current pay period. In fact, giving them a month or two's pay may be taken as an admission that the dismissal was without cause.

nancyfrank232

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Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2019, 01:09:40 AM »
In Canada about a decade ago, I remember severance in lieu of notice being maxed out at approximately 24 months of pay. Today, the number is pushing 27 months of pay and rising

Personally Iíve collected 10 months of severance but I have 2 friends and theyíve collected 17 months and 24 months respectively

In Canada, for long tenured employees who are FI, itís a simple matter to collect severance from an employer. As far as employment law is concerned, the courts arenít friendly to employers up here

https://business.financialpost.com/executive/careers/while-there-is-no-set-formula-here-are-the-factors-that-go-into-deciding-the-amount-of-severance
« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 01:23:35 AM by nancyfrank232 »

Just Joe

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2019, 10:29:00 AM »
My step-dad owns a small engineering firm and had to fire a good employee due to budget cuts. They had the least amount of tenure at the company and they were the first to go. They said that they couldn't afford to get fired because they just bought a new car and signed a new lease on an apartment. He said, "I'm sorry to hear that, but we still have to let you go."

And stories like that are why I prefer to have eveything paid for. With everything paid for (no debt) it is a trivial thing to find a job that can keep one's fridge stocked and the lights on.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2019, 05:54:18 PM »
Interesting to read of these experiences.

In Australia, there exists casual employment and permanent employment.

With casual employment, shifts can be cancelled with at least two hours' notice, and "firing" can be effected simply by not giving the person any more shifts. Casual workers receive +25% on their hourly rate in lieu of leave entitlements. If they do at least six months of more or less regular shifts they can ask to make these permanent, and this request cannot be reasonably refused.

Legal challenges to termination of casual employment are difficult, since the employer will claim, "we just didn't have work for them any more", so the employee will have to assert racial discrimination or the like.

With permanent employment, there's an initial trial period of 3-6 months where employment can be terminated without notice and with no reason given, and after that there's a legal process, of two verbal and two written warnings that if behaviour X continues, employment will be terminated; instruction must be offered to improve the behaviour, etc, and time allowed between warnings to do this. The exception is for "gross misconduct", such as theft or violence in the workplace, or the discovery of fraud in qualifications, gross violations of health and safety, etc, where termination can be immediate.

Aside from that, there's just redundancy, but the courts are nowadays wise to the trick of firing someone at pay band X and hiring someone else for the same position at pay band X-10%.

In either case, special provisions exist for smaller businesses (fewer than 15 employees) which necessarily have less rigorous procedures and resources to deal with HR issues.

Legal challenges to termination of permanent employment are much more common and have wider grounds.

The consequence of the above is that much of employment has become casual, since you can effectively hire and fire at will, so long as you're smart enough to not mouth off about minority groups or something and open yourself up to a discrimination suit. But also, generally speaking someone fired with cause will receive... nothing. Except any remaining leave entitlements, and the pay of the current pay period. In fact, giving them a month or two's pay may be taken as an admission that the dismissal was without cause.

Most of this post is right but some of it is not. During the initial probation period which is usually 3-6 months (but can be extended) there is still a notice requirement of 1 week and the termination has to have a proper cause, but it can be something as simple as not fitting in. The reason why termination is seen to be able to be done "without cause" is that the notice period is so short in any case.

Two oral and two written warnings are not required. There just has to be a reasonable process. It depends very much on the seniority and pay and industry. But it is also hard to "performance manage" someone out the door (if the person's only failing as an employee relates to productivity, and not say tardiness or unsafe practices) without causing a legal headache down the track.

Overall I do believe that permanent employees in Australia have very good job security which is probably why our productivity per buck is so low. $100k AUD ($70k USD) goes a lot further in the U.S. than it does here. This is probably why we are turning to contingent work, outsourcing and gig economy work - because it's difficult to fire an underperforming permanent employee, unless he or she is dumb enough to commit serious misconduct.

MoneyQuirk

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Re: Fired an employee for cause - Story
« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2019, 02:39:11 PM »
The entitlement is strong with that one.

Some people only learn once they get smacked - hard.