Author Topic: Get fired...on...purpose?  (Read 29903 times)

Allen

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Get fired...on...purpose?
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:53:40 PM »
So this just seems ethically totally wrong, but one of my fellow work place early retirement buddies is thinking that when he hits his number in two years, he's going to try to get fired on purpose so he can 'early retire' into an unemployment check.

This just seems...wrong.  I am still 10+ years away from being financially independent, but I can't imagine purposefully going out on a low note just to squeeze out a few more taxpayer dollars. 

Is he smarter than me and I'm bound by outdated ethics?

Cassie

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2014, 04:58:38 PM »
In the state where I live if you get fired versus getting laid-off you do not qualify for unemployment. Yes it is unethical.

dragoncar

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2014, 05:03:30 PM »
I've been interested in this topic (http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-make-money-quitting-your-job-2/) but I'm not gonna pay for that PDF.  Any info?

In many (most?) states, UI is unemployment is insurance.  In other words, you've paid in either directly or through your employer (and the resulting lower wages).  So I don't think it's unethical to take the benefit. 

In the state where I live if you get fired versus getting laid-off you do not qualify for unemployment. Yes it is unethical.

Yeah, that's wrong. 

LibraTraci

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2014, 05:09:07 PM »
Nope, no unemployment check if someone gets fired for cause.  At least in any state I've ever lived in!

Nice try though -- if your friend doesn't already know that he's probably never had to claim unemployment in his life, so I doubt he has an unethical streak in earnest.

Cassie

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 05:13:02 PM »
I know for a fact that in Nevada you do not get unemployment if you get fired for cause. You have a right to appeal it but most lose. I worked next to the people in that department for years so I know how it is in this state. I don't know about others.

CarDude

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2014, 05:14:04 PM »
I know for a fact that in Nevada you do not get unemployment if you get fired for cause. You have a right to appeal it but most lose. I worked next to the people in that department for years so I know how it is in this state. I don't know about others.

Illinois is the same way, if I recall correctly.

Eric

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2014, 05:16:15 PM »
Don't you have to prove you're looking for work to collect?

Cassie

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2014, 05:17:58 PM »
Once you are approved for unemployment you have to do a job search and keep a record of it in case they ask for proof. Here you are required to apply for a certain number of jobs per week.

1967mama

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2014, 05:26:19 PM »
Unethical .. I'd never do it.

Milspecstache

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2014, 05:40:39 PM »
I had a neighbor in MA that said her boss made her job difficult for several months trying to get her to quit so he wouldn't have to pay unemployment.  She hung in there and kept doing her job.  Eventually he laid her off anyway, resulting in unemployment.  I considered that unethical by him.

AJ

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2014, 05:53:04 PM »
In many (most?) states, UI is unemployment is insurance.  In other words, you've paid in either directly or through your employer (and the resulting lower wages). 

Exactly, it is insurance not a savings account. It's something you pay into so that if something were to happen to you accidentally, you would be financially covered. If you burn your own house down deliberately, you are not entitled to an insurance check. Likewise, you are not entitled to an unemployment check if you lose your employment on purpose. That would be fraud, and it is not only unethical, it is illegal.

Luck12

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2014, 06:19:16 PM »
That actually sounds kind of awesome in a "Eff U to the employer" kind of way, esp if it's at least a somewhat bad workplace.  I'd try to get fired for incompetence since you can get unemployment fairly easily that way or hope to get laid off. 

MayDay

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2014, 07:32:33 PM »
In the continuum of unethical behavior, I think I would lean towards "doing below the absolute minimum but still showing up every day" in order to not actually work much, not actually be in the office much, but continue to collect a paycheck while they go through the extended process of writing you up a few times, putting you on a performance plan, coaching you, etc, until they can eventually fire you a year later. 

Not that I find the above a super ethical choice, but from what I have seen/heard about many large companies and especially governments and universities, it is a fairly effective way to pull in a good year of salary while barely working. 

DoubleDown

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2014, 07:36:50 PM »
Mayday just beat me to the punch as I posted...

Maybe your friend plans not to get fired, but to just ride the gravy train, slack off just enough not to get fired, but eventually get laid off as soon as the company is looking for cost savings?

Some people have turned that into an art form, whole websites have been devoted to it. One guy I read who did this (may have been on er.org???) had a freakin' hilarious story. He was ready to retire early, hated his employer, and figured his company would have some layoffs at some point. He came into work each day whenever he felt like it, wearing khaki pants and a T-shirt, and carrying a motorcycle helmet. He was a mid-level manager, and would go to his cube and do just the minimum amount of work. He refused to accept any extra work or to "volunteer" when offered the opportunity, or company training or overtime or nonsense managerial activities. He put up a calendar of "Cats in Baskets" on his cube wall. He always spoke effusively of the people that worked for him, and shielded them from BS at the company, so they liked him and his less-than-stellar performance would not reflect on them. He documented his progress along the way (don't know how he wasn't worried about getting discovered). His plan worked -- he had a completely non-stress, slack job for quite a while, then eventually the layoffs happened and he was of course chosen. As I recall, he was given 6 months of severance pay which was added to his retirement stash.

I find the above unethical (even though it was funny), and attempting to collect government benefits like unemployment insurance positively unethical. So if your opinions are outdated, add me to the old farts club.

bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 07:47:12 PM »
Aren't there limits to how much unemployment you can collect? I think you get cut-off at some point.

I used to think it was unethical for people to take a seasonal job with the intention of collecting unemployment in the off season. Then I read an article making the case that the ability to collect unemployment is part of the "package" for a seasonal job, and is sometimes necessary to fill the positions. Now I don't have an opinion.

It would feel wrong to me to get fired on purpose, but I wouldn't say anything bad about someone else doing it. I think the main thing I see wrong is you are supposed to be looking for work when on unemployment; if you are not it is dishonest because you have to make it appear as you are. Edit: Unless it is a seasonal job with the understanding that unemployment will be part of the compensation package.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 08:31:08 PM by bikebum »

Joel

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 08:15:37 PM »
Interesting. I used to be a seasonal wildland firefighter with the forest service and they actually had permanent positions that only worked approximately six months out of the year and unemployment was expected the rest of the year. Most of my coworkers sat on their ass and drank beer in the winter time. Some went to school and worked hard in other ways to advance their career. Those who took on classes always had a much harder time collecting their benefits. Never really understood that. But the pay and benefits package definitely figured in the unemployment benefits. It makes sense for seasonal employees or those laid off. There should be a stronger focus on helping people get jobs (and build skills to get a better job that won't lay them off again shortly).
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 10:32:51 PM by Joel »

bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2014, 08:29:32 PM »
Interesting. I used to be a seasonal woodland firefighter with the forest service and they actually had permanent positions that only worked approximately six months out of the year and unemployment was expected the rest of the year. Most of my coworkers sat on their ass and drank beer in the winter time. Some went to school and worked hard in other ways to advance their career. Those who took on classes always had a much harder time collecting their benefits. Never really understood that. But the pay and benefits package definitely figured in the unemployment benefits. It makes sense for seasonal employees or those laid off. There should be a stronger focus on helping people get jobs (and build skills to get a better job that won't lay them off again shortly).

Oh I see that I should have stated my last sentence more clearly. I meant that whole last paragraph to apply to a person getting fired on purpose. I don't think it is unethical for a person to take a seasonal job, knowing they will get unemployment, and then not look for work during the off-season.

Weedy Acres

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2014, 08:49:53 PM »
Employees don't pay unemployment insurance premiums, employers do.  So it's not something you "deserve" because you "bought" it.  And while there are state and federal subsidies to the system, it's not, generally, something your taxes pay for.

Employers pay rates that are tied to their rate of claims.  So if they lay off a lot, their premiums are higher.

If you're fired for cause, you can't collect unemployment.  I've fired 3 employees that later filed.  One I fired for theft and he was idiot enough that he appealed it 3 times, up all the levels.  I didn't have to pay (technically "be charged for") a single one of the filers. 

oldtoyota

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2014, 09:01:35 PM »
I had a neighbor in MA that said her boss made her job difficult for several months trying to get her to quit so he wouldn't have to pay unemployment.  She hung in there and kept doing her job.  Eventually he laid her off anyway, resulting in unemployment.  I considered that unethical by him.

I had a friend that got fired "with cause" on a technicality. It was not something you'd normally fire a person for...but then the company did not have to pay out unemployment. Unethical on their part.

And, yes, I think it's unethical of your coworker to try to con the system that way.

bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2014, 09:58:55 PM »
Employees don't pay unemployment insurance premiums, employers do.  So it's not something you "deserve" because you "bought" it.  And while there are state and federal subsidies to the system, it's not, generally, something your taxes pay for.

But isn't it part of the total compensation package when someone takes a job? They know they can collect unemployment if they are fired or laid-off at the time they accept the job. Many employers pay for their employees health benefits or pensions, but those benefits still belong to the employee, not the employer. And wouldn't you pay your employees a little more if you weren't required to pay unemployment insurance for them?

Nords

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 10:26:47 PM »
So this just seems ethically totally wrong, but one of my fellow work place early retirement buddies is thinking that when he hits his number in two years, he's going to try to get fired on purpose so he can 'early retire' into an unemployment check.
He needs to research that on Early-Retirement.org, and maybe a state unemployment website.

As bunches of posters have mentioned, firing does not usually equate to unemployment.  However a layoff would do that.

My memory of the E-R.org unemployment benefits discussion is that it's generally a pain in the neck because you're not "seasonal" but rather "permanently" laid off and required to jump through hoops for the check.  Very few who tried it found it to be worth their time & effort.  The "real money" is in the corporate severance benefits.

Sam (FinancialSamurai) is a ninja sensei of sarcasm and irony who makes both The Onion and The Duffel Blog weep with envy.  As I recall his "engineer your layoff" post, it's serious & ethical.  It discusses finishing all your projects and using up all of their funding and making your continued employment redundant.  Then when the next (inevitable) round of layoffs come along, you'd nobly volunteer to be laid off to help some fellow employee keep their job... and negotiate the heck out of your terms.
http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-to-engineer-your-layoff-make-a-small-fortune-by-saying-goodbye/

Years ago one E-R.org poster had reached his FI number and had been planning his resignation for months, but he had decided that he only owed the company their policy of a two-week warning.  (He was worried about losing bonus money and being sidelined from finishing up his final project.)  As his project was winding down there had been the usual paranoid chatter about layoffs, but he hadn't paid much attention to the perpetual cries of wolf because he was already FI and focused on his resignation plans.  On "the day" when he showed up at work to present his two-week resignation letter to his boss, he was greeted at the door by HR and escorted to the surprise layoff presentation.  At first he was pissed off about the timing but then realized how much money the company was going to pay him to be laid off.  He even got to keep his high-priced company laptop.  When he finally went home (after packing his cardboard box under security's watchful eyes with what very little was still in his desk) he didn't even try to collect unemployment compensation.

So maybe your buddy should buy Sam's book.

Or even better: maybe you should buy Sam's book and "autograph" it from Sam to your buddy, then leave it in the employee lounge where everyone will see who's been reading it...

Joel

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2014, 10:33:59 PM »
Interesting. I used to be a seasonal woodland firefighter with the forest service and they actually had permanent positions that only worked approximately six months out of the year and unemployment was expected the rest of the year. Most of my coworkers sat on their ass and drank beer in the winter time. Some went to school and worked hard in other ways to advance their career. Those who took on classes always had a much harder time collecting their benefits. Never really understood that. But the pay and benefits package definitely figured in the unemployment benefits. It makes sense for seasonal employees or those laid off. There should be a stronger focus on helping people get jobs (and build skills to get a better job that won't lay them off again shortly).

Oh I see that I should have stated my last sentence more clearly. I meant that whole last paragraph to apply to a person getting fired on purpose. I don't think it is unethical for a person to take a seasonal job, knowing they will get unemployment, and then not look for work during the off-season.

I knew that was what you were saying and was just commenting on seasonal unemployment in general while agreeing with your sentiment.


TreeTired

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2014, 10:55:50 PM »
Many years ago I was in a great job, but a new department head was brought in and we quickly determined that we hated each others guts.  I started looking for another job while he was clearly maneuvering to get me out of the department.  We were both progressing towards our goals at a similar pace, and while I had a final job interview and offer, he relayed an ultimatum to my immediate supervisor:  Either I take a new, inferior spot in the department or I would be fired.  I had a meeting with my immediate supervisor (nice guy and friend to me) and I surprised him by responding,  "OK, let's talk severance packages"... so it looked like 6 months of pay and a small bonus on the way out.  That Friday was something of a massacre, with about 20 people in the department let go, including me.  I had my meeting with HR and they went over my severance package.  At the end of the meeting they were reviewing the outplacement benefit, and I told them that would not be necessary.  I started my new job the next Monday.  Financially one of the best years of my life - collecting 2 paychecks for 6 months. 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 10:58:13 PM by NC_MJ »

Jamesqf

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2014, 11:01:46 PM »
Interesting. I used to be a seasonal wildland firefighter with the forest service and they actually had permanent positions that only worked approximately six months out of the year and unemployment was expected the rest of the year.

Or, like a semi-retired friend of mine, you find a winter seasonal job.  He drives a snowplow in the winter, works at a golf course in the summer months, gets maybe a month or so of unemployment spring & fall.

Joel

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2014, 11:35:04 PM »
Interesting. I used to be a seasonal wildland firefighter with the forest service and they actually had permanent positions that only worked approximately six months out of the year and unemployment was expected the rest of the year.

Or, like a semi-retired friend of mine, you find a winter seasonal job.  He drives a snowplow in the winter, works at a golf course in the summer months, gets maybe a month or so of unemployment spring & fall.

It's certainly possible. The situation I was describing you typically start as a 13/13 employee (6 months) and there is usually opportunity for extensions based on need to work longer, as well as training opportunities in the winter time. All with the goals in mind to promote to the 19/7 position (8 months) and then eventually the year round position. Many (not all) collect unemployment during these off seasons. Some do trainings and work hard on how to promote. Some find another seasonal job that works the off season (potentially for less pay than unemployment). Some sit on their ass and do nothing. The way unemployment is currently structured does not really incentivize one to figure out a way to Improve their situation and that should be the goal. Your example of having two seasonal jobs is an idea. Another path would be doing the training necessary to qualify for a promotion that is no longer seasonal. (I.e. It's hard to do a paramedic program during fire season so you do it during the offseason, instead of picking up a off season seasonal job) nothing wrong with either way.

The important thing is to figure out a way to break the unemployment cycle if you are in a position like that. Many people don't have that ambition though, unfortunately.

Fireman

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #25 on: April 03, 2014, 01:23:36 AM »
From the VA Employment Commission Website FAQ Section:

Quote
Why would I be disqualified from receiving benefits because of my separation from employment?

You will be disqualified from receiving benefits based on your separation if the Deputy finds that you quit your job without good cause, or that you were fired from your job for misconduct in connection with your work.

MrsPete

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2014, 06:00:06 AM »
Definitely unethical, though I have say that this isn't necessarily the board by which to set one's ethical compass.  Unemployment isn't something into which you've paid (like Social Security), so it's not "owed" to you.  It is in no way a part of your compensation package; it's more like a safety net for society -- in the same way that Food Stamps and Welfare are a safety net for society.  And since you do have to search for work while collecting unemployment, a person who was trying to pull off this scam would have to continue to lie each week to continue to collect. 

General rule of thumb:  If your plan includes details you wouldn't be willing to share with other people, it's wrong. 

It's also -- for reasons mentioned by other posters -- unlikely to work. 

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2014, 06:56:48 AM »
At a large corporation we have a policy of severance based on years of service.  Occasionally an entire group will get axed because a project is cancelled.  With a potential severance of 8 months full salary plus some other benefits (1 month accrued vacation) and as retirement time approaches, it gives a lottery feeling to those meetings where the boss's boss calls everyone into the conference room.  Last time though it was just to announce a meeting of synergy goals or some such.

It does make one browse the divisions of the company to see if there are any potential groups that might get the axe in the near future and look to see if they need headcount.

dragoncar

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2014, 08:17:22 AM »
Employees don't pay unemployment insurance premiums, employers do.  So it's not something you "deserve" because you "bought" it.  And while there are state and federal subsidies to the system, it's not, generally, something your taxes pay for.

Employers pay rates that are tied to their rate of claims.  So if they lay off a lot, their premiums are higher.

If you're fired for cause, you can't collect unemployment.  I've fired 3 employees that later filed.  One I fired for theft and he was idiot enough that he appealed it 3 times, up all the levels.  I didn't have to pay (technically "be charged for") a single one of the filers.

Seriously people?  My employer pays 100% of my UI and also 90% of my health insurance premiums.  That doesn't make me "not entitled" to either.  They are part of my employment benefits.

Non lawyers in this thread will chatter on about being "fired" vs "laid off," but this is not a legal distinction.  The important issue is "for cause" and that's a pretty narrow definition that you can easily avoid.  If you are fired simply because you are not very good at your job, or because your employer doesn't like the sound of your voice, you get unemployment.  It doesn't have to be a "lay off".*

Insurance arguments are silly.  If I intentionally live my life and go out in the rain and get pneumonia, it's ethical for me to get medical treatment withy insurance.  If I live my life and put in the amount of effort at work that makes me happy, and get fired, it's ethical to collect UI.  My employment is not subject to contract and my employer can fire me any time they are unhappy with my work or almost any other reason.

Yes I have to look for another job to collect UI.  I can also truthfully tell any potential employers that I was recently fired because I didn't work very hard.  I think it's likely I could collect maximum UI, but if someone were to hire me again at a comparable salary, I'd be happy to go in and do the level of work that makes me happy until fired again. 

*obviously you this is not intended as legal advice and you should check with a lawyer in your state.  Only posting because the amount of incorrect legal info in this thread is getting too high
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 08:19:24 AM by dragoncar »

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2014, 08:27:55 AM »
Contractors at our company game the unemployment system all the time.  They schedule their contracts such that it coincides with maximum unemployment benefits and then they take the 3 to 6 month vacation.  A very common practice.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2014, 08:28:11 AM »
Instead of getting fired, why not just negotiate a severance package.

Keep your mouth shut about early retirement plans, and ask your employer for a buyout.  At my company, if you get laid off, you get 2 weeks severance per each year of service.  When I plan on retiring, I m going to ask for a buyout.  That would be 40 weeks of pay or so for me.  But the employer gets the benefit of bringing in a much cheaper worker.

yyc-phil

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2014, 10:02:48 AM »
Since getting fired without cause in 2007 as the CEO of a public environmental agency, my definition of what is "ethical" has changed a lot. This being said, in most jurisdictions including Canada, getting fired WITH cause, or voluntarily quitting your job, will not get you employment insurance. In my case, getting fired was the best thing that happened to me financially (but not necessary psychologically). I got an 18-month full salary/benefit severance, half of it to be paid in a lump sum, and got to collect EI a year later. If your friend could find a way to get fired without cause or negotiate a good severance package, that would be the best avenue to collect EI benefits in an "ethically".

foobar

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2014, 10:31:18 AM »
Sure but you don't have too look to hard. Send out some resumes, do a couple of telephone screens (I think 300k would be a reasonable starting salary) and your good to go.

I thought about if I could claim this when I shut down my business in a couple of years (i.e. get paid on a w2 and pay into the system) Given how low the max unemployment is in most states (400/week ) unless we are in a 99 week period (instead of the normal 26) it just isn't enough money to motivate me.


Don't you have to prove you're looking for work to collect?

dragoncar

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2014, 11:52:33 AM »
Sure but you don't have too look to hard. Send out some resumes, do a couple of telephone screens (I think 300k would be a reasonable starting salary) and your good to go.

I thought about if I could claim this when I shut down my business in a couple of years (i.e. get paid on a w2 and pay into the system) Given how low the max unemployment is in most states (400/week ) unless we are in a 99 week period (instead of the normal 26) it just isn't enough money to motivate me.


Don't you have to prove you're looking for work to collect?

Eh, I'd get around $10k maybe.  That's a whole year of living expenses for some people around here (not me unfortunately)...

jrhampt

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2014, 12:06:35 PM »
Instead of getting fired, why not just negotiate a severance package.

Keep your mouth shut about early retirement plans, and ask your employer for a buyout.  At my company, if you get laid off, you get 2 weeks severance per each year of service.  When I plan on retiring, I m going to ask for a buyout.  That would be 40 weeks of pay or so for me.  But the employer gets the benefit of bringing in a much cheaper worker.

How do you start this conversation out of the blue, though? 

yyc-phil

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2014, 01:51:35 PM »
Instead of getting fired, why not just negotiate a severance package.

Keep your mouth shut about early retirement plans, and ask your employer for a buyout.  At my company, if you get laid off, you get 2 weeks severance per each year of service.  When I plan on retiring, I m going to ask for a buyout.  That would be 40 weeks of pay or so for me.  But the employer gets the benefit of bringing in a much cheaper worker.

How do you start this conversation out of the blue, though?

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=american+beauty+quit+job&go=&qs=n&form=QBVR&pq=american+beauty+quit+job&sc=0-20&sp=-1&sk=#view=detail&mid=EDE21A6C9CF0E8E85379EDE21A6C9CF0E8E85379

jrhampt

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2014, 03:08:20 PM »
^ hahaha!!

sparklebunny

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2014, 03:13:38 PM »
Employees don't pay unemployment insurance premiums, employers do.  So it's not something you "deserve" because you "bought" it.  And while there are state and federal subsidies to the system, it's not, generally, something your taxes pay for.

Employers pay rates that are tied to their rate of claims.  So if they lay off a lot, their premiums are higher.

If you're fired for cause, you can't collect unemployment.  I've fired 3 employees that later filed.  One I fired for theft and he was idiot enough that he appealed it 3 times, up all the levels.  I didn't have to pay (technically "be charged for") a single one of the filers.

+1

This.  I own a business and I'd be pissed if an employee tried to get fired and then claim unemployment.  That would cause my unemployment rate to go up and cost me more money.  Highly unethical in my opinion.  If you can't retire without hurting people, then you shouldn't retire.

Zamboni

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2014, 04:56:11 PM »
Reading this thread, I'm afraid one of the employees who works for my other half must be doing this.  At one point she said she was going to retire, but now she is past that date but still officially working, but doing as little a possible.  She now calls in sick a huge amount of the time, and then generally avoids doing anything even when she does come in.  Meanwhile, her work is falling on the other people, and it is stressing out my other half because he ends up covering both her job and his job half the time.  I hadn't thought about this as a strategy before; perhaps she is hoping for severance pay?  The problem is that there is no layoff on the horizon, and the organization is not likely to fire anyone who has been around so long unless they steal, so she's just letting other people do her work indefinitely.  All of her coworkers are starting to hate her.  Nice.

So, yes, highly unethical.

DoubleDown

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2014, 08:41:49 PM »
^^^^ If she's an "at will" employee in a private firm, I'd tell her it's time to step up, or retire/get out, now! If she's a civil servant or union member with certain job protections, then it would be time to sit her down and put her on a "performance plan" and immediately start documenting her performance as sub-standard so that she can either carry her weight or get out. If that situation continues unabated, it will cause big trouble. It's like a cancer. And yeah, you're right, that sucks.

nawhite

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2014, 09:54:00 AM »
Just want to follow this topic.

dragoncar

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2014, 01:16:55 PM »
^^^^ If she's an "at will" employee in a private firm, I'd tell her it's time to step up, or retire/get out, now! If she's a civil servant or union member with certain job protections, then it would be time to sit her down and put her on a "performance plan" and immediately start documenting her performance as sub-standard so that she can either carry her weight or get out. If that situation continues unabated, it will cause big trouble. It's like a cancer. And yeah, you're right, that sucks.

Yeah I don't personally have much sympathy for a business that continues to employ a poor performer.  That's their choice.

dodojojo

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2014, 01:59:44 PM »
Earlier in my career this situation arose.  Let's just say I wasn't trying to con the system, just kinda clueless.

A mentor (and now friend) and I joined a non-profit project.  The president was our previous boss.  So we were on the same page and optimism was high.  But long story short, the project never quite clicked, there was a major organizational change and my mentor never really got to run the project.  She basically figured out the president was never really going to let her run the project.  So my mentor left.  The people she had hired for the project were also leaving and eventually I was pretty much the only one left.  One day the president point blank asked when I was going to leave.  I was still showing up and doing my job so it wasn't like I was trying to con anyone.  I knew things weren't going great...but again, I was a little clueless at that stage of career.  I also didn't think the president wanted to get rid of me that badly.  Naively, I thought she was going keep me on in the transition or help me transition elsewhere in the industry.

It finally dawned on me that she wanted me to quit to make life easier for her and the organization.  The project was going to be revamped and I wasn't in the plans. I told her I couldn't just quit (I was just processing the fact that she wasn't looking out for me any longer...) as I had nothing to go to.  And she said it wouldn't look good on my budding resume if I was fired.  That was a body blow (I think my voice cracked at some point).  At that point, I wised up a bit and decided that I didn't want to forego unemployment insurance and basically told her she had to do whatever she had to do.  I was confident I wasn't going to be fired for cause as I hadn't done anything wrong.  I was an at will employee so they let me go at a moment's notice but that didn't mean I had done anything wrong either. The project didn't work out for a number of reasons that were way beyond my pay scale.  I looked upon the situation as a layoff scenario.  I was "let go", given a going-away party (yeah, that was festive...) and I applied for UI.  I got it too.

So did I game the system?  Once I lost the Pollyanna blinders, I felt like I had to protect my interest just like the president had to protect hers too.

I'm still friends with my mentor.  The mentor and president remained  good friends though the project itself didn't work out.  I asked for and received a letter of recommendation for graduate school from the president about a year after I was laid off or fired or whatever.   We all accepted the project didn't work out, no hard feelings.  Though at the time I was hurt though I knew the president was doing what she thought was best for the organization.  I found out from another friend that he got the same hints to leave so I guess it wasn't anything personal against me.  He did find another job so he was never asked to leave like I was.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 02:03:55 PM by dodojojo »

bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #43 on: April 04, 2014, 08:13:18 PM »
I don't think you gamed the system. Sounds like you wanted it to work out, and it wasn't your fault that it did not.

bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #44 on: April 04, 2014, 08:18:07 PM »
Here's kind of the opposite side of what this thread is about: An old friend of mine used to work at a take-n-bake pizza place. When the owners wanted to get rid of someone, they would give them the lowest number of hours and shortest shift lengths they could get away with, attempting to get the employee to quit so they couldn't file an unemployment claim. It worked several times.

warbirds

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2014, 07:31:01 AM »
One of my favorite chapters in any book is "killing your job" towards the end of  4 hour work week.


its hillarious.

libertarian4321

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #46 on: April 06, 2014, 03:14:45 AM »
You don't want to get "fired."

But if you get "laid off," what can you do, you are an unfortunate victim of the economic downturn, right? :)

A few years ago, I pretty much intentionally got myself "laid off" and then transitioned into early retirement.

I simply went to my boss and said "Boss man, I have no billable work to do," (which, in a consulting firm, is like saying "KILL ME OFF NOW, I am worthless and deserve to die!) knowing full well that it would lead to my "lay off."

But it wasn't a bad thing.  Work was slow.  My co-workers were wandering the halls like zombies looking for "billable" work.  SOMEONE was going to get laid off.  I just didn't want to play that game.  So why screw around (I was a multimillionaire in a financial position where I didn't need the money) and try to hand onto a job I didn't need and really didn't like?    I just made it easy to choose me for lay off instead of some schmuck who needed the job, who had a mortgage and family to support.

BTW, I DID meet the requirements of unemployment- I made the minimum number of required "contacts" each week.  So I followed the rules.  I got to early retire, and the talent-less schmuck who would have been laid off had I not volunteered got to keep his job and his house.

It was a win-win situation.  I got an "early retirement" (which lasted about 4 years until I got bored).  The talent-less schmuck kept his job and his marriage remained in tact (which was cool, because despite his lack of ability, he was a really good, hard working guy, with a great family), and the firm was able to delay lay offs for a while.  Also, I'm pretty sure my boss knew exactly what I was doing, though neither of us ever came out and said so.

The good guy/schmuck who kept his job because I essentially forced the firm to lay me off recently invited me to his oldest daughter's December college graduation (she's a bright kid- I almost think she must be adopted :) where she got a degree in environmental science.    Had I not "volunteered" to get laid off, she may have never been able to get that degree. 

The only sad part about this story is that I tried to recruit her to my current firm, and she chose to go somewhere else.

So bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with "volunteering" to be the first to be let go.  It might even be the best thing for all concerned.





RetiredAt63

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #47 on: April 06, 2014, 06:21:54 PM »
Thread hijack - good for her!  And good to hear she had multiple job offers.  I used to teach Environmental Science and the job market for our grads was iffy, good some years/in some fields and horrible other years/other fields.  And never predictable.  The present Federal Government is not helping either.

I am guessing you are in the U.S., or I would send you some of them.  We had some amazing students.


The good guy/schmuck who kept his job because I essentially forced the firm to lay me off recently invited me to his oldest daughter's December college graduation (she's a bright kid- I almost think she must be adopted :) where she got a degree in environmental science.    Had I not "volunteered" to get laid off, she may have never been able to get that degree. 

The only sad part about this story is that I tried to recruit her to my current firm, and she chose to go somewhere else.

So bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with "volunteering" to be the first to be let go.  It might even be the best thing for all concerned.

RootofGood

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #48 on: April 06, 2014, 06:38:43 PM »
I know a guy that worked for the government then got fired for political reasons* (he was in an "at will" position with zero rights of employment).  He then filed for UI benefits.  He received them after an initial review but the employer challenged the claim.  Before the scheduled hearing date rolled around, the guy maxed out his unemployment benefits and stopped collecting.  Between the time the employee was fired and the scheduled hearing, the employee's boss (that had fired the employee) was also fired for political reasons*.  The employer dropped their appeal of UI benefits for the first guy.  It seems their star witness was suddenly unavailable.  So it goes. 

True story.  Moral of the story: apply for benefits (if you otherwise meet the eligibility criteria) even if you're fired.  You never know when they'll fire your boss shortly after they fire you.

*political reasons = legislators or governor or governor's buddies requested/suggested the axing. 

LibraTraci

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2014, 11:12:23 PM »
You know, I just thought of a couple of brilliant strategies for working the unemployment game, none of which seem particularly unethical.

First, it is perfectly ok to quit a high paying job to accept a seasonal (if low-paying) one.  This sets you up to get laid off due to reduction of force.  So, let's say you wanna go work at a ski resort as a patroller or even just a lowly lift operator -- you then have an employment agreement to work till mid- to late April, and are guaranteed to be jobless thereafter.

From there, you file unemployment perfectly legally.  Now, in states that require you keep a written record of your applications for appropriate work -- you would need to create some future plan that might make you a bad hire.  So when called in for a phone interview (for a professional position such as the one you left voluntarily to accept the dummy seasonal job, because you *are* supposed to apply to jobs in your field of expertise) you can tell them "I'm actually planning on going out of the country for the winter, so I'm applying for jobs on the off chance that you would be willing to hire someone who would be absent during your busiest time of the year."

Another situation: I'll actually be retiring in eight months, so my hope is to find an employer that is looking for fairly short-term help.

I can think of other stories of an upcoming plan to leave the work force that would make one a really bad hire, such as having plans to leave the workforce at some specific future date to spend time being a caretaker for children, grandchildren or an elderly parent.

Any plan to voluntarily leave the workforce that could be disclosed regrettably would do the trick.  Gotta make it true though, or else it's fraud in my book.