Author Topic: Bittersweet Job news  (Read 32294 times)

Rosy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2015, 12:03:10 PM »
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.

Excellent points.

NorCal

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2015, 03:19:06 PM »
Not a lawyer here, but I think that FMLA stuff you are suggesting is tricky. After all, they are only keeping you around to train your replacements and you are useless to them on FMLA leave. I know you think you are protected and all, but what do you gain with that? Don't you forgo pay while on FMLA? I'm not an FMLA expert either but had looked into it myself for potential parental health issues.

I think by going on FMLA you can kiss your bonus and possibly severance goodbye. What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways? If you want to take time off with your newborn, why not just ask to get laid off now along with the others? At least you will get some severance.

I'm not a lawyer either, so take it for what it's worth.  You're actually on pretty solid ground taking the leave on your own terms, and it might even be beneficial to you.

As it stands right now, it sounds like you have nothing in writing.  They could lay you off next week or in May to avoid paying severance.  If there's one thing companies fear in this situation, it's being sued.

If you take FMLA protected leave and they change the terms of your employment or severance (in writing or not), then you have a legitimate case for claiming that they retaliated against you for taking leave.  If they pull any more shenanigans, a simple threat of an FMLA lawsuit will help you immensely.

JRA64

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2015, 05:05:34 PM »
Tough situation, I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you.

I don't like the part about being "eligible" for a $35K bonus, especially if it's not in writing. Sounds too much like being entered into a sweepstakes drawing.

My company is also going through furloughs and layoffs. There are rumors that the severance policy will be changing to something far less generous. Check the employee handbook and if there's a clause in there that the policy could be changed at any time. Current rumors are going from one week severance per year of service to a flat two weeks for everyone. Point is, even the 20 weeks may not be guaranteed.

Personally, I'd take the leave as planned - you will never regret the bonding time you have with your child.

Ask lots of questions. I've been amazed what I've learned by asking "stupid" questions. Some of those expectations sound pretty subjective, like being a "good" employee. If the company fires you "for cause", I don't think they have to pay severence (I'm not a lawyer though). I personally don't do well with much overtime at all, so I'd be asking very pointed questions about overtime and travel expectations. One of my questions would be, would you consider laying me off now? especially if their expectations for overtime, etc were not reasonable for me.

mm1970

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2015, 05:16:25 PM »
Honestly, I'd start looking.  My company has had 3 rounds of layoffs, and the last one had no severance.

Many of the people left are looking, and several have recently left.

No reason to go down with the ship.  I'd take some FMLA and use it to job hunt.

mozar

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #54 on: September 28, 2015, 12:35:54 PM »
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

CletusMcGee

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #55 on: September 28, 2015, 01:39:38 PM »
I know it's a long shot, but is there any chance your company's name rhymes with "Gardetto?"

Forcus

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #56 on: September 28, 2015, 03:24:17 PM »
Coming in on this thread a little late, but my company is doing something very similar, roughly 10% of the workforce or 9k people not including agency which are a large portion of our workforce. They are giving them essentially 3-4 months to find a new job within the company and if that doesn't pan out (which it won't for many), a calculated severance.

There has been major league uncertainty for the last month. I can say with certainty I checked out and was working at maybe 20%. Not so much trying to screw the man as knowing that different parts / all of my work don't matter depending on the final resolution. That being said, it got better after things starting sorting themselves out. I don't have a "termination date" but to be honest, the way this company and our industries are heading, anyones termination date could be any time. In a way I'd love to have June / July 2016 in my pocket because it gives you an end date. But of course it they are saying you are gone then, I could see someone viewing it as tacit acknowledgment that their work doesn't matter...

So just having been through this with a slightly different result - here are my takeaways:
- You have to figure out a way to mentally deal with this. Therapy, medications, etc. If you have a strong defense mechanism / survival mechanism you will need less of this.
- You have to look at the positives. You have time to figure stuff out, really, with severance, around a year. That's tons of time to figure out things like living situation, finances, etc. Maybe it will end up pushing you to a different, better career or workplace.
- A positive for me is understanding a little bit better that there is no benevolence in business. Business has no loyalty to you but the flip side is that you can make decisions without no loyalty to the business. Before I learned this I listened to people like my supervisor who really didn't want me to leave / apply for jobs for selfish reasons (e.g. no backfilling of a position) and therefore missed out on what might have been good opportunities with more stability.
- I tend to forget to be frugal when things are good. Things like the above really drive me back to where I need to be financially.

Just some thoughts..

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #57 on: September 28, 2015, 04:27:41 PM »
Just spoke with my lead and he said he thinks the new person in charge of our group will likely 'prefer' presence and participation for priority matters despite my parental leave.... Presumably working from home is OK but stull - If that's really what it sounds like, I wonder if I should look for a new job now and accept an offer sooner than later
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 04:34:09 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #58 on: September 28, 2015, 04:39:36 PM »
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.

Daisy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2015, 05:41:46 PM »
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.

What about talking with your manager and letting him know with the new baby you might not be able to put in that extra effort and they should consider laying you off now with severance. So you are not technically quitting but giving them an out. Would you get a decent severance? Much better that either quitting or sticking it ou there with the extra load at work.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #60 on: September 28, 2015, 06:11:09 PM »
Quote
What's the difference between quitting and going on FMLA if you are not getting paid anyways?

The difference is that the OP definitely will not get severance if they quit (per my understanding). I say take the fmla, and see where the chips fall.

I think the catch-22 here might be that my mgr has to approve of my FMLA in order to take it... At least, it sure seems that way. In that case, he may not approve it and I'll be SOL.

What about talking with your manager and letting him know with the new baby you might not be able to put in that extra effort and they should consider laying you off now with severance. So you are not technically quitting but giving them an out. Would you get a decent severance? Much better that either quitting or sticking it ou there with the extra load at work.

That's an idea potentially worth considering. I did just come across this - http://kielichlawfirm.com/5-fmla-myths-might-believe/

Point 4 indicates that it's actually OK for work to contact you within reason. I wonder if this falls within expectation of my manager expecting that I "get my stuff done" but also "being present even if it means working from home" for meetings/concalls.

I still have yet to feel out how things are with the new management (the director basically has taken the reigns). I hear not necessarily positive things about her, but not necessarily negative things either. I don't know what severance would be if I were to be let go now. They didn't even discuss that in our meeting, saying that we wouldn't need to talk about severance until closer to my target termination date.

Tomorrow there will be QA-wide meetings with the new director(s) - apparently there was only one but he's on the Canadian East Coast so I guess they felt like they needed one for our location too. I want to see how these meetings go to get an even better feeling of whether or not more immediate action needs to be taken by me.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2015, 06:39:00 PM »
I know it's a long shot, but is there any chance your company's name rhymes with "Gardetto?"

lol no, that's not it.

chasesfish

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #62 on: September 28, 2015, 07:10:23 PM »
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different. 

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2015, 08:45:42 PM »
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer) 

JRA64

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2015, 09:15:49 PM »
I'd zone in on "continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." with the key word being "continue". How many hours, how intensely, are you working now? This could roll into the conversation another person posted, about how with a new baby you won't be able to increase either the hours or the intensity, and if they are expecting something significantly different they should consider laying your off now...

I agree with you about just looking for a different position if they are expecting a lot more work.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2015, 10:01:38 PM »
I'd zone in on "continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." with the key word being "continue". How many hours, how intensely, are you working now? This could roll into the conversation another person posted, about how with a new baby you won't be able to increase either the hours or the intensity, and if they are expecting something significantly different they should consider laying your off now...

I agree with you about just looking for a different position if they are expecting a lot more work.

Currently it's pretty much 8am-5pm more or less... usually less haha. They've always been relatively 'flex' about working from home and coming in when we want as long as we get our work done. I'm not familiar with the new director's management style but based on how my lead responded today when I asked him about leave, she seems more stringent about "showing face" in the office or at least checking into work off-hours and what not. I suppose I wouldn't take up too much issue with this as long as it doesn't become extremely overbearing. Again, I don't want to get ahead of myself, assuming that it'll be a cakewalk but if things are OK with them the way they've been then it would sort of be one. I can't help but think that's part of the reason why they've been laying people off though - it has been a bit slow, and not to the fault of any one person.

Either way, I still feel a large sense of distrust in how the company has even handled things up until this point and especially how they went about the layoffs (of course, this is the first time I've been through something like this so I'm sure I don't know any better). Even if my immediate lead and the QA director say that we're "safe" it's no guarantee and I feel like anything could happen at any moment. I don't want to get caught up in that trap... this is exactly what happened to an ex-coworker of mine who ended up getting laid off at a previous company we worked at. He thought he was OK because he was a key knowledge holder but they let him go in the blink of an eye.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 10:09:33 PM by jplee3 »

LAGuy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2015, 10:15:01 PM »
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer)

They're not going to seek to screw anybody. Otherwise word will get out and they'll never be able to hire anybody again. The "for cause" stuff just sounds like standard boilerplate. Don't get in a fist fight, steal, or tell your boss off. Anything else that's "for cause" (such as performance) requires multiple instances of documentation and counseling with you. If they don't go through with it, then you have a case for suing them for not coughing up the bonus that they agreed upon. Unless they have some sort of history of not paying, or financially are looking like they might go under, I don't think you need to worry about them trying to give you short shrift on what they're claiming they'll pay you. All this stuff is pretty standard during layoffs. I do think your concerns should lie with how hard you think they're going to ride you, however. More then likely, they'll have their heads up their asses for the next 6 months and you can just fly under the radar.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2015, 10:29:31 PM »
I think you take the offer, kick back and work on your LinkedIn, then start looking for a new position.   Most people would kill to basically have one year to look for a new company and get paid a bonus to do it!  (8 months + 20 weeks).  If you find a great job, move, if its average, ask if you can start later.

We had an excellent analyst we waited over a year for during the financial crisis because the FDIC kept paying him bonuses to help resolve the Bank he worked for.  Its not much different.

This goes back to what "taking the offer" really means. I'd be hesitant to bank on an 'offer' that isn't binding or contractual... seems the company could change their mind at any given moment and I'd be SOL. Well, I suppose the best I'd get out of it would be severance. And if they let me go for whatever they define as "underperforming" that could be grounds for taking them to court if I can somehow prove otherwise. None of this stuff is really defined in the offer letter... here are some clauses:

"you must continue to devote your full time and best efforts to the performance of your job duties..." and then they talk about how if you are released earlier for any reason besides "cause" then you're eligible for the bonus and severance. They go on to define "cause" as: a) violation of employment agreement, business conduct, relevant policies, or for *poor performance* - lol so basically, they can define what "poor performance" looks like vs "best efforts" yet it all sounds super subjective. I suppose "best efforts" can probably be baseline-defined as "get yer sht done" but I think that sort of becomes a burden if and when your leads and managers start piling up responsibilities (and stress) onto your plate. Already speaking with my lead today, he's looking to shovel more stuff onto me. So I don't look forward to it. If I'm going to take on new levels of responsibility and more effort for an expiring position, it seems I'd be better off just getting a job elsewhere (of course, severance and bonus would have to be considered but those aren't even guarantees for the current offer)

They're not going to seek to screw anybody. Otherwise word will get out and they'll never be able to hire anybody again. The "for cause" stuff just sounds like standard boilerplate. Don't get in a fist fight, steal, or tell your boss off. Anything else that's "for cause" (such as performance) requires multiple instances of documentation and counseling with you. If they don't go through with it, then you have a case for suing them for not coughing up the bonus that they agreed upon. Unless they have some sort of history of not paying, or financially are looking like they might go under, I don't think you need to worry about them trying to give you short shrift on what they're claiming they'll pay you. All this stuff is pretty standard during layoffs. I do think your concerns should lie with how hard you think they're going to ride you, however. More then likely, they'll have their heads up their asses for the next 6 months and you can just fly under the radar.

Thanks for the reassurance. Guess we'll just see how things play out in the next few weeks to months; that should give a good reading on how it'll be. I am expecting some stress and busyness going into the end of the year. And if I'm planning to take parental leave, I'm not sure how that will all pan out with them shifting additional responsibilities to me and then expecting me to follow-through with them [strictly within their time frame]. At this point, it just seems very difficult to want to do anything productive... at least, that's the feel I get in general from just the feeling in the office. Maybe the mood will shift. Who knows...
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 10:36:23 PM by jplee3 »

LAGuy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #68 on: September 28, 2015, 10:55:33 PM »
This is just the realities of life in today's corporate America. Frankly, none of our jobs are anymore safe then yours from any one day to the next. I'm sure it's one of the reasons it motivates all of us on this board to FIRE. Sometimes when I talk to people about my early retirement plans, they always say something along the lines of "Yeah, but what if..." My response is, "Oh? You think that's more risky then relying on your employer for your financial well being?" The day I quit for good and have to rely on my 4% SWR is the the day I'll feel financially safe and secure. I sure don't get that from any employer.

Axecleaver

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2015, 08:12:38 AM »
I would be really careful with the FMLA leave. They can't fire you because you're on leave, but they can change your job duties and put you on a list of "next to be laid off." This would practically guarantee you'd be in the next wave of layoffs, and lose out on the retention bonus.

You could also be subject to the "key employee" provision of the FMLA, which can exempt your employer. It sounds like you're in precisely the kind of situation this provision was written to handle. I don't have direct experience with FMLA cases but if you do decide to exercise this option, consider talking to a labor lawyer before you do.

I agree with the posters saying you should ride this out and take the payday at the end. Do you feel confident in getting a new job within 5 months? Also check the terms of your severance, they can structure it to pay benefits only until you find a new job, or as a lump sum payout on your last day. The latter is obviously a much better deal for you. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2015, 08:38:30 AM »
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

LAGuy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2015, 10:37:45 AM »
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #72 on: September 29, 2015, 11:30:17 AM »
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I make $80k per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 11:35:16 AM by jplee3 »

LAGuy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #73 on: September 29, 2015, 11:34:43 AM »
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I may $80 per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?

Well, make sure you get an offer before you discuss salary unless they bring it up first. Then, I'd just be straight up/honest with them. Tell them what your situation is and that you're genuinely conflicted i.e. stick it out for the big payout, or leave early for the new job. That'll give your new potential employer the opportunity to either hire you later in June/July or match your current severance offer with a sign on bonus.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #74 on: September 29, 2015, 11:37:33 AM »
Ask for 26 weeks and a contract.

They're not going to give him that. They've already decided he's disposable. He asks for a contract, they'll say "bye!" It's either play ball on their terms or ask for severance now. I don't know the rules on family leave, but I wouldn't expect that's going to be an "out." Last round of layoffs at my work and a girl that was like 8 months pregnant was let go. This is America. Employees have only one right. And that's the right to GTFO.

I just got called up by a recruiter at a major financial institution for a 100% telecommuting position that seems to fit almost exactly right up an alley I'd be interested in. I'd be in a similar role and I'm pretty sure the pay would be at least $10k more, but would have to negotiate upwards... can I leverage the severance + bonus pay offered by my current place in any immediate negotiations should I get that far in the process? If so, when should I tell them that my company has arranged this "package" for me? And could I pretty much negotiate upwards based on whatever they offer? E.g. let's say I may $80 per year now and have the $35k bonus + severance. If the new company offers $100k, how much more could I reasonably negotiate up? $110k? $120k?

Well, make sure you get an offer before you discuss salary unless they bring it up first. Then, I'd just be straight up/honest with them. Tell them what your situation is and that you're genuinely conflicted i.e. stick it out for the big payout, or leave early for the new job. That'll give your new potential employer the opportunity to either hire you later in June/July or match your current severance offer with a sign on bonus.

So the recruiter did ask me what I'm looking for in terms of a general number and I gave them my 'low-range' number through my 'high-range' number. But didn't say anything about my current situation with the current place. Should I have just disclosed that to the recruiter? Or is it best to wait till further on, assuming things move forward, and discuss that with the hiring manager?

NorCal

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #75 on: September 29, 2015, 11:46:44 AM »
To be 100% clear, you have the option to take FMLA leave within the eligibility window whenever you want with no repercussions whatsoever.  The company doesn't get to "approve" this or not.  It's your choice.  If they do anything that feels like a reprisal, then you have a a very easy lawsuit.

Besides the all-important time with a new kid (trust me, it's worth it), I recommend taking some FMLA leave anyways as you actually end up with better legal protections on your job than you would otherwise.

It also generally pisses me off when companies approach legally guaranteed leave as something they get to be upset about.  Spending time with a newborn is literally some of the most valuable time you will have in your entire life.

robartsd

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #76 on: September 29, 2015, 11:56:54 AM »
I haven't read the FMLA law and am not a lawyer; but, I'd be inclined to believe that the "key employee" provision only applies where litterally no other employee can do the work you do.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #77 on: September 29, 2015, 12:58:00 PM »
Getting the can sucks, but it's possible to turn it into a positive. Three of my friends were recently fired. Two of the three have bachelor's degrees and very socially well adjusted. They ended up getting more money and better jobs after getting the can. I love the third friend to death, but he doesn't have a bachelor's degree and is a little socially awkward at times, so he has struggled to find a replacement job.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #78 on: September 29, 2015, 02:07:28 PM »
To be 100% clear, you have the option to take FMLA leave within the eligibility window whenever you want with no repercussions whatsoever.  The company doesn't get to "approve" this or not.  It's your choice.  If they do anything that feels like a reprisal, then you have a a very easy lawsuit.

Besides the all-important time with a new kid (trust me, it's worth it), I recommend taking some FMLA leave anyways as you actually end up with better legal protections on your job than you would otherwise.

It also generally pisses me off when companies approach legally guaranteed leave as something they get to be upset about.  Spending time with a newborn is literally some of the most valuable time you will have in your entire life.

I'll probably try to file for leave towards end of Nov/start of December going through January. But if I get an offer elsewhere before then I'm not sure what I'd do. I'm assuming I'd still qualify for FMLA even at the new company but that may affect when they actually want to onboard me, I'm guessing. I do want to take advantage of the 4 weeks of full pay my company gives us at the very least. But if I get an offer from the new company, I'm wondering if this could also all be part of the negotiation (since I potentially will not have taken my leave yet at that point). What do you guys think?

lsalinas

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2015, 02:30:34 PM »
Employers can not reject your request for FMLA if you qualify.  They can only check to see if you qualify or not.  What makes your situation sticky is that both FMLA and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) say that your job is protected and the company has to reinstate you UNLESS the job is eliminated and you would have been laid off if you weren't already on leave.  So I guess they could technically say while you are on leave that the job elimination was accelerated and you have no job to go back to. 

I personally wouldn't wait it out for a severance package.  If I were you I would take FMLA and look for another job.  You do have to be at an employer for at least a year to qualify for FMLA so you wouldn't be able to take leave at your new company.  Also I wouldn't tell recruiters and potential employers about your current situation.  I am not sure that telling them about your severance package would positively influence the wage negotiation.  They might be disinclined to give you more money because they might think soon you will be laid off and desperate enough for a job that you would take the same pay or even lower.  On the other hand if they didn't know you were going to be laid off they might think there is a risk that your current manager would counteroffer to keep you and that might lead them to give you a higher offer.  If you don't say anything they might make some assumptions to your benefit. 

Also my last thought is that whatever you decide you should spend as much time with your baby as you can.  My twins are 14 months old and I already miss the newborn baby stage.  It goes by too fast.  Snuggle that baby as much as you can while you can!  If your baby is anything like mine as soon as s/he learns how to walk s/he will not want to snuggle anymore and will give you a "don't let the door hit you on the ass" look as s/he runs away from you and into the daycare. 

Daisy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #80 on: September 29, 2015, 02:45:39 PM »
Oh man...new offer?!?! Go for it! You have nothing to gain from your current employer.

I'd wait to get an official offer from the new place. Don't bring up all of these pay requests before you get an offer. I had a friend get offers rescinded twice when she got too smart with her requests. I'm guessing that being so complicated in the negotiating process can be a red flag for a trouble employee and they'd rather rescind the offer than get stuck with a demanding employee that is difficult to work with.

I think what you most want is to have a job and get time with your newborn. If I had to negotiate with the new company I'd focus more on delaying the start date to when you wanted your paternity time to end. Mention the newborn and that you'd rather start the new job with a fresh mind.

Then once you have an offer and a favorable start date, ask your current company to lay you off with severance because you can't commit to the new job responsibilities and extra time.

Bingo. Your severance is your paternity pay.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 02:53:24 PM by Daisy »

Jouer

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #81 on: September 29, 2015, 03:08:32 PM »
(I'm not a lawyer)

If you are even thinking of accepting the severance (plus $35k bonus), please contact an employment lawyer to go over the severance offer. It's almost never prudent to accept the initial severance offer. The lawyer will help you understand the bullshit language in the offer and help you with a counter-offer.

For instance, I'd want the language changed so that the $35k WILL BE paid next June. Remove the language around "being eligible" for a bonus. I'd also ask for the $35k to be paid even if they lay you off between now and then. If they won't budge....get the eff outta dodge.

nobody123

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #82 on: September 29, 2015, 03:23:56 PM »
Take the company paid leave NOW before they eliminate / suspend that benefit for "business reasons."  Look for a new job while you and your spouse share child care responsibilities.  If you get an offer you want to accept, ask to start after your paid leave runs out.  There is no way they are going to lay you off after you return, they will be too afraid of being sued.

Personally, I would stop asking so many questions of your supervisor or their superiors.  Keep your head down and do what you are supposed to do.  They are probably worried about their futures, and don't give two craps about your situation.  Why draw attention to yourself?  Employees that ask tons of questions and make their manager's life difficult are probably going to be moved up the "cut" list.

Frankly I don't see the severance payout as much leverage at all, especially when it's so far away.  Unless you have a super-unique skill-set, there is always someone else ready to accept the position for what the company is willing to offer.  If someone I was trying to hire mentioned a stay-on bonus and severance, I would most likely counter with "I'm offering you a job with a future, they're offering you a trip to the unemployment line."  It's not like it's a quarterly performance bonus or some part of your standard compensation that you're counting on that you're being asked to forfeit. 

If you decide to ride it out, negotiate the severance and get it in writing.  I would suggest $5K for signing the agreement, then $5K that vests on the first of each month that you are employed, the total vested amount payable upon termination.  That way, you're protected if they decide to let you go earlier than you had planned.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #83 on: September 29, 2015, 04:26:12 PM »
Take the company paid leave NOW before they eliminate / suspend that benefit for "business reasons."  Look for a new job while you and your spouse share child care responsibilities.  If you get an offer you want to accept, ask to start after your paid leave runs out.  There is no way they are going to lay you off after you return, they will be too afraid of being sued.

Personally, I would stop asking so many questions of your supervisor or their superiors.  Keep your head down and do what you are supposed to do.  They are probably worried about their futures, and don't give two craps about your situation.  Why draw attention to yourself?  Employees that ask tons of questions and make their manager's life difficult are probably going to be moved up the "cut" list.

Frankly I don't see the severance payout as much leverage at all, especially when it's so far away.  Unless you have a super-unique skill-set, there is always someone else ready to accept the position for what the company is willing to offer.  If someone I was trying to hire mentioned a stay-on bonus and severance, I would most likely counter with "I'm offering you a job with a future, they're offering you a trip to the unemployment line."  It's not like it's a quarterly performance bonus or some part of your standard compensation that you're counting on that you're being asked to forfeit. 

If you decide to ride it out, negotiate the severance and get it in writing.  I would suggest $5K for signing the agreement, then $5K that vests on the first of each month that you are employed, the total vested amount payable upon termination.  That way, you're protected if they decide to let you go earlier than you had planned.

You make plenty of good points towards not showing your hand in fear of losing the upper-hand (for both situations). I'll probably stop saying anything to my lead - I don't think I can trust him even though he's pretty nice, but it's clear he was never truly looking out for my well-being like my previous lead was (previous lead who is now in product mgmt offered himself as a reference in the future, which is kind considering I'm the one usually asking for references. To me, it shows he still cares for me even though he's not my lead - that's a true leader). As far as my paid leave goes, I don't know how willing my lead would be to allow me to take it sooner than later just because I've already sort of told him my plans... it'll put more suspicion on me especially when I haven't secured another offer or interviewed anywhere else at this point.

I was wondering about the severance payout and why a hiring company might want to hire you if they know you're gonna get cut... seems like you'd be showing them your desperation hand in telling them anything about getting laid off. Although, this particular position does seem to require a unique skillset (that being a combination of both extensive QA and infosec knowledge...). Either way, it might be too risky to try to negotiate upwards if I've already given them a target range (which I think is pretty reasonable and is still higher than what I'm currently paid). Wouldn't want to lose out on something good because I was too greedy.

At this point, morale is shot in both feet at the company. I can just tell when I'm trying to work with coworkers on stuff... it's obvious nobody wants to be here. Who knows? Maybe the mood will change in the coming weeks or months, but the immediate mood is still one of most people being distraught and not really wanting to care anymore at the same time.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 04:28:04 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #84 on: September 29, 2015, 04:33:04 PM »
Oh man...new offer?!?! Go for it! You have nothing to gain from your current employer.

I'd wait to get an official offer from the new place. Don't bring up all of these pay requests before you get an offer. I had a friend get offers rescinded twice when she got too smart with her requests. I'm guessing that being so complicated in the negotiating process can be a red flag for a trouble employee and they'd rather rescind the offer than get stuck with a demanding employee that is difficult to work with.

I think what you most want is to have a job and get time with your newborn. If I had to negotiate with the new company I'd focus more on delaying the start date to when you wanted your paternity time to end. Mention the newborn and that you'd rather start the new job with a fresh mind.

Then once you have an offer and a favorable start date, ask your current company to lay you off with severance because you can't commit to the new job responsibilities and extra time.

Bingo. Your severance is your paternity pay.

LOL I wish it were that quick and I had an offer on the table! I literally just spoke with a recruiter today and am slated to talk with another one for a more extensive screening tomorrow or Thursday. And from there probably the hiring manager and whoever else on her team. I need to start preparing myself for all this. It's been the longest time since I've interviewed... and one of my prior experiences still haunts me to this day: I literally was tongue-tied off the very first couple of questions they asked me which were supposed to be "softballs" - it looked really bad and I'm pretty sure is 95% of the reason why I didn't land the job... well, that and also the fact that one of my old senior level coworkers applied for the same job and got it.

As far as asking the current company to lay me off, I'm not sure about the strategy(ies) to go about doing this the right way. Obviously if I get an offer where the new company wants me to start working ASAP, I would likely lose out on that. But could I really negotiate with the new company to say "hey I think I might get severance, can you delay my start date a few months?" I dunno, that just seems weird...

Daisy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #85 on: September 29, 2015, 05:58:06 PM »
No, the reason to start later at the new company is to go on paternity leave. The sooner you can get a new offer the sooner you can quit your current job. I'd only try to get severance as a bonus if you are leaving anyways and they are in the middle of layoffs. You were shocked with this information and had time to think about it and would rather get severance and go on paternity leave - is what you tell your current employer - when you have a new job.

The important thing is to get a new job. Don't tell your new job anything about severance, bonus, etc. Continued employment is the most important thing with a new baby in your family, not some vague promise of a bonus or severance in June.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #86 on: September 29, 2015, 06:06:21 PM »
No, the reason to start later at the new company is to go on paternity leave. The sooner you can get a new offer the sooner you can quit your current job. I'd only try to get severance as a bonus if you are leaving anyways and they are in the middle of layoffs. You were shocked with this information and had time to think about it and would rather get severance and go on paternity leave - is what you tell your current employer - when you have a new job.

The important thing is to get a new job. Don't tell your new job anything about severance, bonus, etc. Continued employment is the most important thing with a new baby in your family, not some vague promise of a bonus or severance in June.

So either way then, it sounds like if I get an offer, I should try to make my start date either January or February, given that I want to take my paternity through December and potentially January where it's partially paid. But as an extra measure of FU, I could say right now (assuming I get an offer say end of this week) "I'm willing to be let go now because I can't handle the additional workload and this all came as a shock to me" and try to get them to lay me off? I'm still not sure about the logistics on that one because isn't the key to that getting them to lay you off (rather than walking away and quitting)? Also, would that mean that I take my paternity up front now and then get severance pay until I start the new job? Is it even possible to 'combine' severance with paternity leave so that they're 'stacked' up like this? It seems like they wouldn't allow this or would make provisions against it.

Couldn't the new company also come back and say "no we need you to start NOW or you don't get the job?" And it seems like paternity leave would be out the window.

I don't want to get too ahead of myself on all these scenarios so best to take things a step at a time so I'm not all super discouraged when I find out I didn't get an offer or whatever.

EDIT: reading through the packet again, it seems as though they bundle both the bonus and severance with each other in the conditional clause that states I'll be eligible to receive those as long as I am let go by the company for any reason other than "cause" - so if I tell my manager "this all came as a shock and I'd rather not be here" - that would probably be cause for them *not* to give me severance merely because I volunteered that sentiment.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 06:24:40 PM by jplee3 »

Daisy

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #87 on: September 29, 2015, 07:44:14 PM »
I would only ask to be laid off after you have another job. Worst case no severance and you quit. But at least you have the certainty of a new job vs sticking around in Low Moralville With Unreal Expectations And Work Overload.

Don't try to optimize too much. If you have a new job, what's a couple of months on paternity leave of your own funding worth to you?

I wish you the best.

Dee18

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #88 on: September 29, 2015, 09:57:23 PM »
Just a heads up re leave at a new job.  The law may have changed, but back when I first became a mom I did not get FMLA because I had not been in the job a year.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #89 on: September 29, 2015, 11:20:12 PM »
Just a heads up re leave at a new job.  The law may have changed, but back when I first became a mom I did not get FMLA because I had not been in the job a year.

You are correct - you need to be at your job for at least a year to qualify for FMLA. That's not a problem in my case as I've been with my current company for a few years now.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #90 on: September 29, 2015, 11:26:05 PM »
I would only ask to be laid off after you have another job. Worst case no severance and you quit. But at least you have the certainty of a new job vs sticking around in Low Moralville With Unreal Expectations And Work Overload.

Don't try to optimize too much. If you have a new job, what's a couple of months on paternity leave of your own funding worth to you?

I wish you the best.

Wouldn't most places figure asking to be laid off is no different than asking to be let go (so it would be voluntary)? I guess there's ways to ask without officially asking haha.

Thanks for all the advice!

nobody123

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #91 on: September 30, 2015, 07:02:59 AM »
I was wondering about the severance payout and why a hiring company might want to hire you if they know you're gonna get cut... seems like you'd be showing them your desperation hand in telling them anything about getting laid off. Although, this particular position does seem to require a unique skillset (that being a combination of both extensive QA and infosec knowledge...). Either way, it might be too risky to try to negotiate upwards if I've already given them a target range (which I think is pretty reasonable and is still higher than what I'm currently paid). Wouldn't want to lose out on something good because I was too greedy.

You are being laid off, not fired.  From a business perspective, we look at other companies' layoffs as opportunities to grab some top talent that might not otherwise be available.  I view it as a positive that folks aren't going to go down with the ship when they have other options to control their own destiny.  You are being compared to all of the other applicants that are in the pool, the hiring company doesn't really give a crap about your current company's potential layoffs.  Get it out of your head that you are in some sort of disadvantaged position because you're slated to be laid off many months from now. 

Negotiate your salary and benefits as you would with any other job offer.  Worst thing is they say no.  If paternity leave is important to you, negotiate for it.  And if they somehow know that your company is undergoing layoffs and they try to use that to lowball you, you know that's probably a company you don't want to work for anyway.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #92 on: October 01, 2015, 12:22:06 PM »
So I found out from a product mgr here that there is an entry level pm position opening up here at the office. Different chain of command from the engineering group and he was saying he thinks they're relatively stable because they have to continue driving the product lines. I have yet to reach out to the director/hiring mgr but it seems like another potential opportunity. Just not sure if I want to necessarily go down the PM route at this point in time. This would be one of those less technical day-to-day roles but requires a pretty deep technical knowledge of the product still. Whereas the position I'm interviewing for with the financial institution would be more technical and similar to what I'm currently doing. Of course, nothing is on the table at this point in time but i guess it wouldn't hurt to talk with the hiring mgr. I also had my resume forwarded on by my friend who is going over to a company that does background checks. Apparently they're revamping their entire it and development orgs.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:26:56 PM by jplee3 »

robartsd

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #93 on: October 01, 2015, 01:06:19 PM »
In your shoes, I'd certainly begin entertaining offers at any employer you might want to work for. When you receive an offer for a job you might want to accept, negotiate salary and benefits before discussing start date. Once you get to a position and compensation that you'd say yes to if it were already June, start negotiating start date.

If you've decided that the bonus for staying 'till June is worth it for you, you might tell the potential employer that you've been working on a long term project (your current job) that will complete by June and you expect if you stay until the end you'll get a significant bonus. If you're being subtle about this and they ask why you've been looking for a job, let them know that you don't see good prospects for opportunities for new rewarding projects at your current employer after you current project concludes. Depending on how important it is to them to aquire your talent sooner rather than later, they may sweeten the deal by being OK with the delayed start date or offer a signing bonus. Regardless of decisions about sticking it out to June, be firm in your requirement for time off with your newborn. Again let them choose between hiring now with an agreement to give you December off paid, or setting the start date in the new year.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #94 on: October 01, 2015, 04:44:01 PM »
Thanks. I've spoken at length to a few product mgrs at this point and the pm position here seems like a good opportunity to grow and broaden my skill set. It won't be fun or glamorous and will be highly challenging but it sounds like it would be both rewarding and stable. Of course, I'm still at conflict with *wanting* to work here after the turn if events but there are some very good ppl on the PM team and it just seems like a good opportunity in general. Less technical but I could probably maintain some technical skill.... This is moreso a position exposing me to the business/mgmt side of things. I guess the decision lies in whether I want to venture out or stick with growing and expanding my current technical skillset
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 05:04:08 PM by jplee3 »

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2015, 09:39:57 PM »
In your shoes, I'd certainly begin entertaining offers at any employer you might want to work for. When you receive an offer for a job you might want to accept, negotiate salary and benefits before discussing start date. Once you get to a position and compensation that you'd say yes to if it were already June, start negotiating start date.

If you've decided that the bonus for staying 'till June is worth it for you, you might tell the potential employer that you've been working on a long term project (your current job) that will complete by June and you expect if you stay until the end you'll get a significant bonus. If you're being subtle about this and they ask why you've been looking for a job, let them know that you don't see good prospects for opportunities for new rewarding projects at your current employer after you current project concludes. Depending on how important it is to them to aquire your talent sooner rather than later, they may sweeten the deal by being OK with the delayed start date or offer a signing bonus. Regardless of decisions about sticking it out to June, be firm in your requirement for time off with your newborn. Again let them choose between hiring now with an agreement to give you December off paid, or setting the start date in the new year.

Just a quick update: a lot of things have happened since the layoffs. Apparently, the layoffs were just a prelude to an even bigger event - my current company got bought out by another company (which is a private tech firm). LOL, some of you can probably figure out who I work for by now... anyway, this private tech firm has a reputation for making cuts and being cheap. They've taken on a good amount of debt as well so as far as the "deep pockets" they're presumed to have, I don't think I can bank on it or the $35k bonus being promised (which was promised under the terms of the company that was bought out). So there are just really a lot of unknowns and uncertainties about the bonus. Sure it would be good to stick around and try to stick it through but the facts that A) they didn't have us sign anywhere for this "offer" and B) a private company bought out a public company and is now carrying debt (and there's news that they're looking to cut different divisions etc), makes me wonder if they'll get to the point of pulling the bonus rug out from under....

That said, I got a call from the recruiter at the large financial institution who I interviewed with for a 100% telecommute position, confirming whether or not I'm still interested (which I am of course). She replied saying, in more or less words, that the company is interested in me and I should expect to hear from them (presumably with an offer) within the next day or two... we'll see about that but that was good relief. I've also interviewed with a cloud gaming platform company in my area (which is a smaller division of a larger tech company), and it sounds like a pretty exciting opportunity. But I'm not sure if the pay would be as good as what I think the large financial institution will pay. The large financial institution position would be pretty "boring" and not as in tune with my interests, in comparison to the cloud gaming position. I haven't heard back about the gaming position but the interviews went well overall (there were some hiccups with the last person I interviewed with). Anyway, if I get an offer on the gaming position, it's going to be pretty tough deciding between the two.

Meggslynn

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2015, 09:53:02 PM »
I have not read all the comments but wanted to let you know I just went through something very similar. I suggest you start looking now. If your environment becomes as toxic as mine did it is not worth the money, especially after taxes.

Good Luck.

Bearded Man

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #97 on: November 09, 2015, 09:55:01 PM »
Bulk up on skills and certs, be a linkedin fiend. Take the extra money, then negotiate a better offer to start after your last day as it draws closer. You get to bank a ton of money, better opportunities await.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #98 on: November 09, 2015, 10:07:45 PM »
Bulk up on skills and certs, be a linkedin fiend. Take the extra money, then negotiate a better offer to start after your last day as it draws closer. You get to bank a ton of money, better opportunities await.

I have what looks to be an incoming offer and I seriously doubt I could negotiate a start date of next June haha. If I start looking now, I think in most cases I'd need to start several months out. The only way to get the extra money would be to try to 'time' everything which is risky since I feel like they could pull the bonus rug out from under or find a reason (or more) not to pay it out. And if they get sued because of that, it doesn't seem like they'd care much anyway.

jeromedawg

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Re: Bittersweet Job news
« Reply #99 on: November 09, 2015, 10:10:37 PM »
I have not read all the comments but wanted to let you know I just went through something very similar. I suggest you start looking now. If your environment becomes as toxic as mine did it is not worth the money, especially after taxes.

Good Luck.

Thanks, yea I've been on the hunt and may have some opportunities. I'm not sure *what* will happen in the next half year. Especially with news of the big buyout. I don't know if they'd even keep us around until June. They have said that if they let us go earlier, we'd still qualify for the bonus. Then again, none of this required any sort of signature and with the situation the company is in I feel like they could 'rightfully' take away the bonus rights (e.g. "sorry all bonus packages have been cancelled because the company took a huge hit in Q1 and or Q2")