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Given choice of quit or be fired for poor work performance


I was asked to resign or be terminated...due to poor work performance. I was on a Performance Evaluation and didn't perform to my supervisor's standards. I asked if there was anything I could do and she said was not a right fit. When asking me to do some tasks which were not possible to achieve..she had 3 witnesses on the phone listening to me saying I did not achieve those tasks.

I don't like the job and I am not a good fit. But I do need unemployment...In MA on the DETMA's does say I cannot collect if unemployed of my own fault. I'm not sure what to do..resign I can have an easier time of getting hired...or be terminated so I can collect unemployment..maybe...but face the challenge of never finding a job.

Please advise and thanks.


Either way, as far as unemployment goes .. it's a discharge known as a "quit in lieu of discharge".

Unless of course you provide a resignation letter like they want and are unable to prove what actually occurred.

When someone is presented with this option the resignation letter should contain the reason you are tendering it.. you were told, if you didn't the employer would fire you anyway. It should also contain anything that would help you at an unemployment hearing and nothing that would help the employer.

In other words it needs to say that you are quitting because the employer said if you didn't they would fire you for your inability to do the job and because they believe you are not "a good fit".

Those are words I used to tell employers they should never use because nothing in "not a good fit" conveys the reason of misconduct.

Since this should be seen as a discharge by the state, they should also, be looking for the misconduct. So in order for you to be denied unemployment the employer should still be assigned the burden of proof and have to prove your poor performance was caused something intentional or with you knowing you were choosing not to perform to the reasonable standards any employer has the right to expect of an employee.

Inability is not misconduct. That is what you need to show though as the cause.

The easiest way for an employer to prove misconduct with regard to performance is to provide past performance reviews that prove you had been capable at one point .. so failure now can be seen as something you did have control over.

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Do you mean "what do I do" other than what I have told others in your position to do..
by: Chris -

Which is basically to treat the resignation as if it were the document it actually is.

Or that what you write in it doesn't have to say thank you for the opportunity .. anymore that it does to explain the circumstances of why you are tendering it and why you disagree that if the employer fires you in lieu of quitting .. it isn't for misconduct, but potentially some type of job discrimination ... given why you tell me you went out on medical leave.

I'd even help you write a letter to make your choice read like your voluntary quit was the employer's fault and not yours .. but literally a discharge.

by: Anonymous

I started my job October 7, 2014. Starting in November the problems started and severely escalated to where I was stressed out and I even went on medical leave due to the stress on the job. I was placed on a PIP on February 20, 2015. I finally went to HR and was in constant communication with the department HR rep. I then went on medical stress leave on Feb 26 and returned to work on March 30, 2015. My PIP was revised on that same day. However, I later found out that the department HR rep was no longer employed so I thought that was suspicious because I honestly believe she believed me in what I was going through. So I did not pass the PIP due to performance (communication and writing etc). My termination paperwork is currently in process with no definite date of completion. My manager says to me that he has never done a PIP and it would be easier if I quit. I have another position starting June 1, 2015. I need my unemployment. what do I do?

Written up for poor performance and considering resigning
by: Anonymous

I have been working with this company one year, three months. I started as temporary and they converted me to a full-time employee after 90 days. My father passed away in April. I took one week with bereavement and vacation after my father's death and since then have moved my mother into a assisted living home, got her home ready to sell and dealt with the emotions of all of these life changes. At the same time they changed the group of employees I processed and supported for payroll purposes. Each paygroup has a different set-up, so you have to learn the new contacts and pay structure of the group. I have been having issues meeting the deadlines and getting it all done by the deadlines. They have changed the deadlines along with my time to clock in/out (start time later, deadline earlier). I have had one verbal warning and now the written that states they don't have to give me any further warnings. I am now considering resigning. I am 61 years old and have never been written up for performance. I am considering resigning so that I don't have to explain being terminated in my job search. I never thought I would be in this position.

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and I have experienced what it can take out of you when the welfare of an aging parent fills your thoughts and time.

However, the decision to resign voluntarily to avoid dealing with the potential of a discharge on a resume is generally considered to be a quit in anticipation of discharge and is not the leg I would choose to stand on when trying to get benefits.

It lacks the element that being given the choice of quitting or otherwise facing certain and immediate discharge .. or as they call it quitting in lieu of discharge.

It that you had no choice that causes the burden of proof to be shifted to the employer to prove the choice was given because misconduct was the cause.

Quitting instead of being fired
by: Shannon

I had the same thing happen to me 6 months ago. I tried very hard to work with my new manager but no matter what I did it wasn't right. She wrote me up for my performance & I wrote a long explaination for each point as to why this wasn't true and submitted it to HR. After that our relationship got worse and despite working after hours without pay she used an oral proficiency test which she said I failed as a reason to fire me. I was also given the choice to quit or be fired. I mistakenly took to be fired to collect unemployment. I regret doing it and am wondering now if there is a way to change it so it won't be on my record that I was fired.

Hi Shannon,

Like they say, hindsight is 20/20. I doubt the employer is going to change their records now.

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