Quit before being fired. Do I have a case?
I was in my job (Wa State) for a little over a year. In that time I was given four reviews were out of 18 areas evaluated I was Meeting Expectations in 15, 1 exceeding expectations and two meeting some expectations. About three months after my last review I was called into a meeting with my boss and a HR representative. I was told I was not meeting expectations and that I had a choice of separating from the company on my own or creating a performance plan that shows how I would show immediate and sustained performance improvement. When I asked why I was not meeting expectations I was not given any reasons except not meeting the values of the company and was told that it was my responsibility to show how I was going to meet expectations and that I was responsible to make it work. I was not given any guidance or help in creating this plan. The total burden was place on me. I met with my boss two times after this and was told two separate times the plan was not good enough and I could never get him to tell me specifically how I was not meeting expectations. How do a I correct something if I don't understand what is wrong. I was given a two page document outlining general job requirements that I thought I was already meeting. I was asked to sign this document that said I agree that I was not meeting expectations and that if I did not meet expectations that I would be fired. Rather than being fired and giving them time to build a case
against me I quit. To be clear I was never told why I was not meeting expectations. The closest they came was that I was not meeting the values of the company which I feel I was more than doing.
The company is not doing well and this approach has been used on at least five previous employees that I know of. The same day I had my meeting they let a Director in my division go as well. It is obvious that they are taking this approach for budget reasons, but of course it is difficult to prove.
Do I have a case for UI? The burden to show good cause is on the employer, but I am worried that I quit in anticipation of discharge. I not only think reasonable people in my position would do the same, but I saw people prior to me in this exact same situation do the same as I.
Oh my. That is clever .. isn't it? This will very likely be protested as a voluntary quit in anticipation of discharge because continuing work was an option for you, but you know what .. I would file anyway and give it a try .. just because they made it impossible to even meet the expectation of writing your own performance improvement plan. I would think at least they would have some kind of guide to do this .. since they rejected your effort.
I'd be happy to assist
you with a strategy or argument if you like, but I suggest you first check over the company policies to find out what you should have expected from the employer.