Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


what's the best way to leave a job if you don't already have another one
January 16, 2013 6:04 PM   Subscribe

My boss and I agreed I am not right for my job. How can I be eligible for unemployment while not having a black mark of being fired for future employers?

My boss and I came to the conclusion that I am not right for my job. He is being very understanding and is willing to work out an agreement with me. Provided that I am not able to get another job within the time frame (let's say 3 months), what's the best way for me to leave that ensures unemployment benefits (I'm in California) while not leaving a black mark on me for future employers? I've read if I quit, I cannot get unemployment. Is the alternative to be fired? But in order to be eligible for unemployment, it will need to be through no fault of my own. And would I have to tell future employers that I was fired? What's the best way to navigate this situation? Thanks!
posted by lacedcoffee to Work & Money (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have them fire you.
It's fine.

You can tell future employers that the job wasn't right for you, you and your employer agreed, and you left on good terms.

They can confirm that if they'd like.
posted by entropone at 6:09 PM on January 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


if your boss is up for it, what you want is to be laid off. it's not being fired (so you don't have to tell the next job you were fired) and it leaves you eligible for unemployment benefits. in states i've lived in, if you were fired you usually didn't get unemployment, if you were laid off, you did. those states weren't california, fwiw.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 PM on January 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Take advantage of your claim "[your boss] is willing to work out an agreement with me." Ask your boss to lay you off (immediately if you want, in 3 months if you want). Your boss can then tell the state unemployment board that the termination was not-for-cause, which means there's no contest for your benefits. Further, ask that he tell future employers the same thing. In that case, no one would be the wiser.

This is reasonably common and should not surprise your boss. Sometimes things just don't work out, even if both the employer and employee are competent people.
posted by saeculorum at 6:13 PM on January 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


http://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/eligibility.htm

Definitely ask for them to lay you off, not fire.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 6:29 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


sorry 'bout that. i wasn't thinking california-specific. pretty sure other states, being fired for not being good enough at your job still leaves you eligible (fired for breaking rules or other misconduct does not, however).
posted by entropone at 6:31 PM on January 16, 2013


Your boss has to lay you off/eliminate your position in order for you to get unemployment in CA. He can, of course, create a very similar position for someone else after you're out the door.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:32 PM on January 16, 2013


Laid off. Excessed. Too many workers, not enough business.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:50 PM on January 16, 2013


Ask your boss to lay you off (immediately if you want, in 3 months if you want). Your boss can then tell the state unemployment board that the termination was not-for-cause, which means there's no contest for your benefits.

If this happens, your boss and the company you work for are very awesome and rare. Employers would usually rather not have you collect unemployment, because the amount they pay for unemployment insurance will go up. They will fight even legitimate claims, so I would be surprised if they voluntarily agreed to lay you off instead of firing you.

If you're just not a good fit for your job, that's really in "fire" territory as it is due to your personal performance. Laying off is supposed to be for business reasons, such as when they don't have enough work to go around.

So, couldn't hurt to try that tactic, but don't be surprised if your employer doesn't want to have to pay because you weren't good at/right for your job.
posted by parrot_person at 7:55 PM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're just not a good fit for your job, that's really in "fire" territory as it is due to your personal performance. Laying off is supposed to be for business reasons, such as when they don't have enough work to go around.

This is 100% false in CA. "Not a good fit" or "didn't meet expectations" is a textbook example of what DOES make you eligible for unemployment- otherwise no one would ever get it, because all the employers would lie and say that was why.

You're ineligible only if you're fired "for cause" - which basically entails serious misconduct, unexcused absence, etc. The kind of stuff that has been documented and can be proven. Soft stuff like "wasn't performing well" doesn't come close to meeting this standard.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:30 PM on January 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Seconding the above for California. Being a poor fit does not rise to California's standard of "fired for cause." Think "embezzlement" or "punching a co-worker."
posted by zippy at 10:14 PM on January 16, 2013


Nthing that California unemployment laws are pretty strict about what defines "misconduct" or "for cause." Punching a co-worker or embezzling would be cause. "Not a good fit" is not cause.

Quote from the EDD website:

Section 1256 of the UI Code provides in part:

An individual is presumed to have been discharged for reasons other than misconduct in connection with his or her work and not to have voluntarily left his or her work without good cause unless his or her employer has given written notice to the contrary to the department as provided in Section 1327, setting forth facts sufficient to overcome the presumption. The presumption provided by this section is rebuttable.
(my emphasis)

For "just cause," there has to be a paper trail and pretty strong evidence. "Lacedcoffee just wasn't the right fit" would get laughed at and tossed in the trash. Let them "lay you off" so you can collect unemployment and take advantage of any other services the EDD might offer.

Link to the California EDD
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:57 AM on January 17, 2013


« Older I disabled my Okcupid account....   |  Can anyone recommend a reputab... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.