Dismissed from full time position, but HR offers to reclassify
July 18, 2014 6:50 AM   Subscribe

I was recently dismissed from a new full time job less than 3 months after starting it. A recent note from HR has kindly offered to reclassify the position as a temporary one if it would help me. Is this wise? It sounds like I can go forward without the stigma of being fired but will it affect unemployment, or anything else I don't know about? (It was a bit of a shock, tho it wasn't a great fit. Wisconsin is an at-wlll state and there were no issues of misconduct. )
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There is no stigma of being laid off. This only benefits the company. If it was temporary, you can't collect unemployment. Tell them to FUCK OFF, and get your happy ass down to the unemployment office and file today!

Save that letter in your file in case the assholes try to pull a fast one.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:53 AM on July 18, 2014 [38 favorites]

" if it would help me"

How would it help you? You should leave a job that you were at for less than three months off your resume anyway.
posted by spaltavian at 6:57 AM on July 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

Ruthless Bunny has it nailed: the recent note from HR has kindly offered to fuck you over. Piss on that noise. File for unemployment, which these suckpigs owe you.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:17 AM on July 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

This is something you should ask your state unemployment office about, couched in hypothetical terms. You may not even be eligible based on this job if you only worked there for a short time- but you might be eligible from a past job. Each state has its own finicky rules.
posted by foodmapper at 7:20 AM on July 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

Were you fired or laid off? If you were fired, you might not be eligible for unemployment so being reclassified as temp might help when potential employers call to see why you left.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:21 AM on July 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Depending on the state/country, merely "being fired" does not render you ineligible for unemployment. Most states require being "fired for cause" and "for cause" means flagrant misconduct such as embezzlement, punching out a coworker, etc. - not "fired because my boss didn't like me."

File for unemployment, and put the best possible spin on your leaving - tell them you were "let go," and if the company wants to dispute that and say you were fired, the ball will be in their court to challenge your claim. Don't let them screw you over!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:26 AM on July 18, 2014 [7 favorites]

From the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

I heard that if you quit you can't collect, but if you're fired you can. Is that right?
While it is "generally" true that if you quit your last job, you're the cause of your unemployment and you may not be eligible, there are many exceptions which would allow benefits. For example, if you quit rather than relocate out of the labor market with the employer, or you develop a disability which the employer cannot accommodate, or you quit because your payroll checks are bouncing, you may be eligible. But remember that since you caused the separation the burden will be on you to establish that your reason for quitting meets the criteria to allow benefits. While it is "often" true that you are eligible if the employer fires you, we must investigate the separation. Since the employer caused the separation the burden will be on them to establish to our satisfaction that you were fired for misconduct or substantial fault. If we conclude so, you will be disqualified. Misconduct may include chronic tardiness, theft, falsification of employer documents, insubordination or various other actions. Substantial fault may include other violations of your employer’s requirements that do not rise to the level of misconduct.
posted by inturnaround at 7:26 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know about Wisconsin specifically, but many states distinguish being fired for misconduct (integrity issues, job abandonment) and performance. You can, in these states, often collect unemployment when terminated for performance. Check your state rules.
posted by spaltavian at 7:37 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd like to add that losing a job, for whatever reason, can temporarily take the wind out of your sails. You may be feeling vulnerable right now.
You'll get past this, and find a new (and most probably better) job.
posted by Pudhoho at 7:58 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

WI resident here, with a background in HR.

Your now former company is shady as hell. Deny their request and proceed to collect unemployment. I would also share your note with the Department of Workforce Development.
posted by Twicketface at 8:06 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anytime anyone ever offers to retroactively change anything of an official nature, you should be very suspicious.
posted by PMdixon at 8:10 AM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

You should politely decline the offer.

Most charitably, they are offering to help you lie to prospective new employers by saying that your appointment simply expired, rather than was terminated. Not something you want to mess with.

Less charitably, they are trying to manipulate their unemployment insurance "experience rating." They probably aren't trying to make you, yourself, ineligible simply because (assuming that you otherwise would be) you would simply deny their assertion of temporary appointment if they asserted it to cause you not to get benefits, and they'd be left worried about a very awkward ALJ hearing.
posted by MattD at 8:19 AM on July 18, 2014

I do think being eligible for unemployment depends how long you worked there and how much money in wages you earned. It depends on your state, I believe, and some states are paltry while others give good unemployment benefits. Also in some states, being fired doesn't entitle you to unemployment unless you were specifically laid off for a reduction in workforce.

I would try to call or go down to your unemployment office and speak about the job and your eligibility. If you're not eligible anyway, I would do the temporary position thing because then you can still talk about the job, specifically because you are making it sound like you were fired rather than simply laid off. But, it's not going to be a huge benefit for you, so try to get unemployment first and foremost.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:24 AM on July 18, 2014

If it was temporary, you can't collect unemployment.

This is not true, at least in Calfornia, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. I've gotten unemployment in all these states after working temporary jobs. If you're fired for cause, e.g., always late, not showing up, stealing, etc., or if you quit, then you can't receive it. It also depends on how much you've worked since they look at the last several quarters to determine eligibility. If you've only worked three months, you may not receive benefits because you didn't work long enough.

If the job added to your skill set and/or the company has a good reputation, you may want to leave it on your resume and saying it was temporary makes you look better to the next company. Layoffs can look bad especially if they aren't widespread. Otherwise, it looks like you got cut at the end of probation. If you work for Microsoft and you're one of the 18,000 people being let go, laid off works. If you were the only one laid off, being classified as temporary works best.
posted by shoesietart at 11:24 AM on July 18, 2014

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