Author Topic: Get fired...on...purpose?  (Read 29954 times)

RootofGood

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2014, 07:51:28 AM »
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.

I haven't read my state's statute on unemployment lately, but I think you have to be "seeking work in a manner that a diligent job seeker would seek work".  And you have to be available to work.  I think telling employers that you plan on quitting shortly after a hire might mean you aren't "available to work".  The reality is that "the government" doesn't check for actual compliance with the job search and availability for work requirements (generally speaking).   

Joel

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2014, 08:11:28 AM »
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.

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds pretty unethical.

CommonCents

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2014, 08:15:04 AM »
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.

I haven't read my state's statute on unemployment lately, but I think you have to be "seeking work in a manner that a diligent job seeker would seek work".  And you have to be available to work.  I think telling employers that you plan on quitting shortly after a hire might mean you aren't "available to work".  The reality is that "the government" doesn't check for actual compliance with the job search and availability for work requirements (generally speaking).   

Correct, but the employer can protest it and then you have to do a hearing and then they would consider it. 

That's what happened to me.  I worked at a big law firm, was let go with a number of other folks in the third such wave (officially, however, it was not a layoff...).  I collected unemployment.  I applied to a LOT of jobs and went on a lot of interviews (always #2 pick though).  I finally applied to an adjunct position, teaching outside my field in my second degree, and got it.  Note that I didn't need to apply to it because it was outside my field, but once I did...it almost screwed me over as the story continues.  Taught three terms on a part-time poorly paid basis.  This pay substantially reduced my unemployment (but because the pay was so bad and I had max unemployment benefits, I still got some unemployment).  Now the sucky part - because I was working at a low paid job, it actually reduced my benefits the second year on unemployment....  Yes, by doing everything I could to get reemployed, by working I lost money to which I'd otherwise I have been entitled to.  Now, I got a job offer just before the 4th term would start, pending the background check and accepted it, but it ended up taking two months for it to all clear.  I told my employer I had the offer and was willing to teach until it started.  They declined to have me do it, and brought in someone else, and then protested my unemployment for those two months.  See, once I started working for the college, THEY were the ones paying my unemployment, not the big law firm (who could have cared less, it was peanuts to us and they told us we could file).  Even though the law firm was what made the unemployment happen in the first place place and why my unemployment was max.  Now, protesting the unemployment is awesome because 1) I could have not applied outside my field and worked this "awesome" job in the first place, never had this problem, had a lot more free time and cost the taxpayer more, and 2) I tried to do the "right thing" by giving them heads up notice so they could find someone to cover (whether at the beginning or partway through). 

I'm not a litigator, but I represented myself at the hearing.  They dragged in someone who was on vacation to testify for the phone hearing (I should have insisted on an in-person hearing and they wouldn't have been able to do it).  I won, fortunately, even though I feel the hearing officer choose a weaker argument of the 3 I put forth. 

Only consolation was that it may have helped me get a side gig the following year teaching an online class for $5K, and helped fill in my resume.

Oh final ironies?  Over a year later the US govt sent me a letter demanding I repay a week of my pay.  (Not sure why, but possibly because I had a vacation during part of the time, which is allowed depending on where you go and if you are still looking for work during this time.)  I just paid it rather than fight again.  A few weeks later, the US govt sent me a notice of overpayment, and paid me back that same money.

This a long saga.
TL;DR: Follow the rules, but no need to be the good guy because you can get screwed.  Going on unemployment to retire (and not look for work) is not following the rules.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2014, 08:16:31 AM »
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.

That's called constructive dismissal in Canada, and if you can prove it to the EI folks, you get your unemployment benefits.  You can also sue an employer for severance pay, if it actually makes financial sense to do so.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 08:26:10 AM by Self-employed-swami »

OldDogNewTrick

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2014, 12:27:59 PM »
In Florida you can be fired for poor performance and collect unemployment.

On the Dante's Ring of Hell ethics scale it rates pretty low, but still not nice.

Better to let everyone know you are retiring so they can throw a party. You'll feel better in the long run.

zachd

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2014, 02:24:36 PM »

I have a friend who intentially got fired from the place he worked. It was a large computer corp everyone knows. It's actually very hard to get fired.. I've always heard they would rather just live with a bad employee rather than risk a law suit but I don't know if that's the reason. They do lay people off fairly often.

Anyways, he wanted a career change so he set out to get fired.  I guess with this particular corp. getting 'fired' would be equivalent to being laid off, and he could get UEI...   he tried being late, leaving hearly, sleeping at his desk, or under his desk but nothing worked. What he finally did get fired for was he threw a chair. He was just playing around.. someone saw him, told his manager, and they called him in.  He got UEI and changed careers to film and worked on movies like the Avengers so I guess it worked out OK for him.

No, it's not too ethical, but in my opinion doing this to a multi-billion dollar corp. is not so bad as if you did it to a small business or start-up.  Actually, if a small business didn't treat their employees well, I wouldn't be against trying it with them either but obviously you would want to know that it would actually benefit you. 


Eric

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2014, 02:28:58 PM »
No, it's not too ethical, but in my opinion doing this to a multi-billion dollar corp. is not so bad as if you did it to a small business or start-up.  Actually, if a small business didn't treat their employees well, I wouldn't be against trying it with them either but obviously you would want to know that it would actually benefit you.

What's the difference?  It's either ethical or it's not.  If it's not, the size of the company that you're bilking shouldn't matter.

MrsPete

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2014, 07:28:13 AM »
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.
Yes, in the teaching world here's how they get rid of an undesirable employee: 

We are technically county employees, not employees of the school where we work -- and our county is large.  So if they want to get rid of someone, they reassign him or her to an inconvenient school across the county.  The employee has no recourse. 

They reassign the teacher to teach something he's never taught before /something he hates teaching.  So, for example, they might take the person who's been teaching cushy Speech and Debate classes and reassign him to teach 9th grade remedial English.  Or, in the case of elementary school, they might take the person out of Kindergarten and reassign him to 4th grade, meaning that he'd have no lesson plans ready and would have a tough year ahead of him.  Then, when the person does poorly, put him on an action plan.  Again, the employee has no recourse. 

The saying:  There's more than one way to fire an employee. 

yogagirl95

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2014, 08:39:23 AM »
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.

Depends on if its documented. Most employers don't have the time, and just pay the unemployment in Illinois. I had a relative that worked in this area.

Even if its documented, the employee can still fight it.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2014, 08:58:33 AM »
People volunteer for layoffs all the time.  We notify employees a layoff is coming, in a certain department, and then a couple people raise their hands and say they'd like to be laid off.  It's not a formal process. Some people are just ready for retirement, and they'd rather have the severance than not.  We pay two weeks' severance for every year worked.  So it adds up.  If you have 20 years on the job, and you're planning to retire in a year, you might as well take the layoff, because you'll end up with roughly the same amount of money at the end of the year.  Some people honestly volunteer because they want to let the younger workers with families at home keep their jobs. 

I worked with a guy who had been here for 35 years.  He was planning to retire at the end of 2013.  Last summer, they told him he was being laid off, at the end of 2013.  So he walked away with 70 weeks' pay, at the exact same time he was planning to leave.  He still consults one or two days a week.  He's a really nice guy, and everyone was very happy for him. 

zachd

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2014, 10:04:43 AM »
No, it's not too ethical, but in my opinion doing this to a multi-billion dollar corp. is not so bad as if you did it to a small business or start-up.  Actually, if a small business didn't treat their employees well, I wouldn't be against trying it with them either but obviously you would want to know that it would actually benefit you.

What's the difference?  It's either ethical or it's not.  If it's not, the size of the company that you're bilking shouldn't matter.

Yes. Entities don't magically become unworthy of your consideration when they reach a certain side. It's like a musician I know who is scrupulous to buy indie music and pirates stuff from larger, wealthier groups. Did The Beatles at one point magically cross over to being theft-worthy in their upward journey from Liverpudlian clubs or something?

Yeah, because we know how ethical credit card companies, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, large banks, major record labels, and large computer corporations are and how much they respect consumers, the environment, and their own workers.  Anyone trying to bilk them would just be wrong. 




bikebum

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2014, 07:18:18 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.
Yes, in the teaching world here's how they get rid of an undesirable employee: 

We are technically county employees, not employees of the school where we work -- and our county is large.  So if they want to get rid of someone, they reassign him or her to an inconvenient school across the county.  The employee has no recourse. 

They reassign the teacher to teach something he's never taught before /something he hates teaching.  So, for example, they might take the person who's been teaching cushy Speech and Debate classes and reassign him to teach 9th grade remedial English.  Or, in the case of elementary school, they might take the person out of Kindergarten and reassign him to 4th grade, meaning that he'd have no lesson plans ready and would have a tough year ahead of him.  Then, when the person does poorly, put him on an action plan.  Again, the employee has no recourse. 

The saying:  There's more than one way to fire an employee.

That's lame. Has the teacher's union tried to do anything about it?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2014, 07:08:33 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.

I call that firing by attrition, and my bosses are pros. Never seen them fire anyone without cause, but plenty quit.

MrsPete

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2014, 02:09:21 PM »
Yeah, because we know how ethical credit card companies, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, large banks, major record labels, and large computer corporations are and how much they respect consumers, the environment, and their own workers.  Anyone trying to bilk them would just be wrong.
Two wrongs don't make a right.  You and I don't have "a right" to behave unethically just because other people are doing it.
That's lame. Has the teacher's union tried to do anything about it?
No union.  The majority of teachers in the US are not in unionized states.  I wouldn't be surprised if that didn't change in the relatively new future. 

Regardless, the school system only tries to drive someone away if there's a good reason, and other teachers don't defend bad teachers.  I've never personally seen a good teacher treated this way.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2014, 02:12:53 PM by MrsPete »

NewStachian

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2014, 03:29:39 PM »
This is terrible on so many levels. Not to mention, when word gets back to your friends that you did this, and it will, you will probably find the friends that stay your friends aren't the ones you want to have.

nawhite

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #65 on: April 22, 2014, 10:56:19 AM »
This is terrible on so many levels. Not to mention, when word gets back to your friends that you did this, and it will, you will probably find the friends that stay your friends aren't the ones you want to have.

Can you explain what specifically you think is terrible? The whole idea of engineering your own layoff or just dicking around doing nothing while collecting a paycheck?

If my friends found out that I volunteered for a layoff in order to get a severance package when I was planning on retiring anyway, they'd be stoked and maybe a little envious.

blackomen

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Re: Get fired...on...purpose?
« Reply #66 on: March 19, 2016, 04:36:57 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?

In general, I would agree what Tim Ferriss suggested is a bit unethical.. but if I had a boss who is a complete asshole, I would have no qualms against doing something like this to "escape".

So in other words, the only reason I'd pull something like this off isn't to squeeze a few extra dollars out of taxpayers but to get back at a boss that I truly believe deserves it.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2016, 04:43:43 PM by blackomen »