Author Topic: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...  (Read 4784 times)

Offline Adam B.

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Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« on: November 16, 2012, 09:28:24 AM »
Unfortunately (well, actually FORTUNATELY haha) — I am leaving the company I currently work with and accepted a job with a 50% pay increase, meeting my goal I set for myself when I began this new job search.

The unfortunate part is how the company I work with has been treating employees as they walk out the door (in droves), and it gets worse with each person who gives notice.

BRIEFLY (I could go on for several pages about this part), I work for a company who's stock shares were worth $18 dollars per share on the day I began working here — and now 2 1/2 years later are worth $.36 CENTS per share. I work in a department where 3/4 of the people have resigned and moved on to new things, and I am joining them.

Enough said!

I could put a VERY long paragraph about what benefits the company has taken away from us, which have resulted in my total compensation package being SIGNIFICANTLY less each year than when I started here, but that is not the point of this post. Maybe in a reply I can get into that…

HERE IS MY DILEMA…

It is in our contract when I was hired that any vacation time accrued that our vacation time rolls-over year after year, AND the company will pay you 100% of your unused accrued vacation time under the condition that you give them 2 weeks notice when you resign. We were informed a few weeks ago that we are no longer allowed to "GET AWAY WITH THAT" anymore (actually SCOLDED BY THE CEO) because ALL of the employees who have recently resigned were quitting with upwards of 5 weeks vacation time, which the company was paying out as an "I QUIT" bonus — and she is not "putting up with that" anymore from us. She said we NOW have until the end of this year to use up our accrued time or the company will "BUY YOU OUT" for $.50 on the dollar!

EVERYONE who has quit since these announcements have been retaliated against by the company, pretty significantly and at great cost to them.

The most recent employee who left, earned a bonus which was supposed to be on her paycheck the day after she put in her resignation of several thousand dollars. The company DID NOT PAY HER the bonus, but had she put in her notice the NEXT DAY — the monies would have already been deposited into her checking account. They did not pay her a DIME of her accrued vacation time (not even at 50% value) even though she DID put in customary 2 week notice.

THEREFORE — I will NOT be putting in a customary 2 week notice and will instead be doing the following.

You can call me "ungrateful" or whatever you want — but I EARNED the vacation time I accrued and I WILL BE getting PAID IN FULL for that one way or another.

Before I landed this NEW job, I have already scheduled a vacation the week after Thanksgiving in order to "USE UP" all of my accrued vacation time remaining in my bank.

IF the company was not taking a retaliatory stance against people who resign I would be putting in my customary 2 week notice on Monday, and forgoing my vacation, and take the vacation time as payment at 100% of its value.

However, since I cannot do that, and I know I will COMPLETELY lose this when I put in my "2 weeks" I am instead going to TAKE the scheduled vacation, and then on the following Friday when the money is in my checking account in full for that pay period, I will be closing the bank account and all other accounts at this bank — and walking into the HR office at the end of the day announcing my IMMEDIATE resignation — and requesting that my final paycheck be sent in the mail.

MY FEAR IS THAT…

My fear is that the company is going to retaliate against me for taking the vacation time I earned and THEN resigning one week after coming back.

Since they have my ACH information with the bank, technically they could just come and "TAKE BACK" the vacation time I was paid for. I have done enough research online to find out they most certainly CAN and probably WILL go after my bank account if they feel like doing so.

LEGALLY, my state requires a company to pay you for time worked, regardless of the circumstances of your "exit strategy" and since I will be "working" one more week after my vacation, they OWE ME for it. They MAY not "owe" me for unpaid vacation time legally upon my resignation, but vacation time I have already used and been paid for, I am not sure how that goes.

The only thing they would be able to do if I close my accounts would be to withhold my final paycheck, claiming I was "overpaid" because they no longer feel they have to PAY ME for a vacation I ALREADY TOOK.

I am already 100% certain they will retaliate against me in some fashion, since they are doing it to people who leave giving them PROPER NOTICE.

I ABSOLUTELY NEED this vacation, as I am starting a new job, and already pushed my start date to the Monday following my resignation. Since I am starting a new job — the opportunity for me to have a REAL vacation is not going to happen for several months to a whole year, and I need to recharge my batteries before I start this with a fresh mind.

The NICE THING about this "exit strategy" is that my FIRST paycheck from my NEW job, and the LAST paycheck of my OLD job are scheduled for the same day. If the company decides to withhold my last pay in retaliation I will not be missing payments on anything. I am treating that last paycheck as a "bonus" and going to use it to buy a new laptop since I am giving up my company laptop when I leave and need a suitable replacement.

It ANGERS ME TO NO END to feel like I have to quit in this fashion, but based on what the people who left told me the company did to them after the fact, combined with everything else going on, this is my decision and I am sticking to it.

It is a poker match. If I walk down to "HR" today and ask politely "If I put in 2 weeks notice next week would I get paid for 100% of my unused vacation time" I lose my position and reveal my hand, and I have nothing left to negotiate with, they could just send me home THAT DAY, and I lose a significant amount of money.

I am a professional, and ALWAYS treat my clients, co-workers, and the companies I work for with respect — BUT when I am backed into a corner I LASH OUT.

Not seeking "LEGAL" advice but would like to hear people's opinions regarding the employer's "right" to withdraw funds from your bank account at will, and retaliate against you by withholding a paycheck you EARNED and are LEGALLY entitled to, along with the potential to TAKE BACK vacation time you have not only earned, but used up and were already PAID FOR.

I could write VOLUMES about the crooked s#!t going on at this place — but I think I have said enough here to justify my reason for getting the HELL OUT!!!!!

And yes, I am THRILLED TO DEATH to be starting a new job in the near future and getting off the "PennyStock Express" at the next junction!!!

Offline Alpha Mike

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 09:47:28 AM »
Not seeking "LEGAL" advice but would like to hear people's opinions regarding the employer's "right" to withdraw funds from your bank account at will, and retaliate against you by withholding a paycheck you EARNED and are LEGALLY entitled to, along with the potential to TAKE BACK vacation time you have not only earned, but used up and were already PAID FOR.

As you already mentioned, it would be illegal for your company to do any of that. 
Question 1, is this an threat they have acted on with someone else or are they just trying to bluff their employees? Idle threat playing against the ignorance of the employees?
Question 2, how much money is "on the table" that you would be walking away from?    A couple of days might be worth just walking away from (since you have a new and better job waiting.)  Couple of weeks might be worth fighting for.  There is always the small claims court option.

Non-lawyer options are filing complaint with state and federal labor relations boards.  One complaint won't trigger anything, but if more than one complaint is on file, it could trigger an investigation into their employment practices (these are very un-fun to go through for the company). If you are in contact with other ex-employees, this may be an option.

AM

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 10:05:17 AM »
Can you take employers to small claims court? I've had problems with other companies that I've taken but I've never taken someone I've worked with. If you have a contract, they can complain all they want, they still have to pay right?

Just don't burn bridges as you leave, even in a hostile work environment. Had a place stealing money from it's employees and when people found out they went crazy. As everyone started leaving they destroyed or stole equipment or just went off on everybody before they left. I told owners they would be hearing from my attorney and few weeks later we settled, but said goodbye to everyone else and asked that we keep in touch looking for work. One of the managers ended up bringing me with him to our next gig and that wouldn't have happened if I went off the handle. 

Offline Ronin4hire

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2012, 10:22:57 AM »
Wouldnt hurt to let the new employer know exactly whats going on at the current place-
Without divuldging company secrets, just the way the mass exodus is handled....
Keeping them aware, up front, of potentially negative actions by your current employer is helpful.
It would certainly be unlawful, it may suprise your new employer and create tension they dont need.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 10:28:03 AM »
Call your best shot, take it, exercise any legal options available and then go on. Sometimes, you have to take a little hit to get ahead.

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2012, 10:40:20 AM »
Sounds familiar. My last company refused to pay overtime and vacation pay. Even though I gave two weeks notice. They claimed the rolled over time didn't count. I just wrote it off.

Sueing your old employer can taint you for any future employers as they may find this in a check of your work record.

Lesson to learn is take your vacation time, don't try to bank it. Failing companies are always going to minimize expenses by not paying for old vacation time.

So I agree with your exit strategy. Move to the new job forget completely about anything left in the old one, it's not worth stressing on.

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2012, 11:00:52 AM »
In general I'd say I agree with your strategy.

The only thing I would advise you to do is to check your specific states laws and make sure you are not breaking any of them (if you are, it sounds like your employer will go after you)


Here in Illinois I could leave Monday and my employer couldn't do anything about it. They could also fire me Monday, and as long as it wasn't in a discriminatory fashion, I couldn't really do anything about it.

Every state is a bit different though.


Good luck!

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 12:07:46 PM »
Having worked for a state Labor & Industries agency and been a small employer I will tell you the State will hammer the employer if they are made aware of this.  State law says they HAVE to pay you for all time you CLAIM, and then they have to make a claim and prove they do not owe you some of it.

I suggest you:
- Call the Labor agency in your state and describe the situation and ask them what your rights are, and what recourse you have if the company violates State law.  Ask for a reference to applicable State law or code so you can refer the employer to same.  Include asking whether you have any obligation to give 2 weeks notice (some times State labor law will over rule any contract agreement, that is the agreement may violate State law).

- Call a Labor attorney and ask for a consultation.  Many attorneys will give you a free 30 minute consultation to review your position and they will tell you whether they think you can benefit from legal representation or if you have no case worth pursuing. 

- Document EVERYTHING.  Make sure you have records of all your time worked, paychecks, earned vacation statements, copy of work agreement and terms, and any communications you have with HR or management.

- DO NOT drag your new employer into this mess at all.  If you need time off for court then just tell them it is a pending civil legal matter.

- If the Labor agency, work agreement, and/or attorney indicate you are NOT obligated to give two weeks notice then I certainly would NOT give them even an hours notice.  Gradually start moving your personal items out of office and to your vehicle.  Do so at night if you want to reduce rumors.  In other words, get yourself totally ready to terminate and then hand a written resignation/notice to the HR manager with any keys, pass cards, and issued equipment.  Do not be emotional, complain or anything, just matter of fact "I quit, here is your stuff, I already removed my stuff, I can find the door myself."  Your resignation letter should state that you have contacted State Labor and an attorney and expect the employer to fulfill all their legal obligations regarding pay, OT, vacation and sick leave or you will pursue all legal avenues for redress.

Many times employers like this are used to bullying employers knowing most do not know their work rights and believe they lack means to fight it.  But, if you make it known that know your standing with State law and have contacted an attorney and State Labor agency they most likely will comply.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 12:18:57 PM »
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As you already mentioned, it would be illegal for your company to do any of that.

I am VERY thorough when I make a decision like this and cover my bases well in advance, and keep my cards hidden until the appropriate time.

I spent my lunch at the bank branch office. And YES — your employer CAN take money out of your checking account if they have the routing and account number, as MOST direct deposit agreements you sign have a clause saying you authorize them to do so when you sign it. I do not have a copy of that document, nor could I even GET one at this point so I am assuming it has that clause.

There is a handy bit of advice for anyone on this forum who gets direct deposit. I am thinking that I may not sign up ever again for it, even though it is convenient for this reason. I never want to experience the fear of some corporate monster having the keys to my livelihood like this again.

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Question 1, is this an threat they have acted on with someone else or are they just trying to bluff their employees? Idle threat playing against the ignorance of the employees?

There are two specific employees I am close with who told me EVERYTHING the company did to them when they resigned in the proper manner. There has been a mass exodus for several months here, and now the CEO is retaliating against people as the company continues to melt down. It is THAT reason, combined with the fact I am throwing a week's pay in the garbage if I do a "proper" resignation that I refuse to do so.

I refuse to essentially "PAY" them a week's pay in order to do things the "RIGHT" way, when I can use the "F-YOU" method and get PAID for it. I am a marketing douche and marketing people have no ethics to begin with (ask the late, great Bill Hicks)!

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Question 2, how much money is "on the table" that you would be walking away from?    A couple of days might be worth just walking away from (since you have a new and better job waiting.)  Couple of weeks might be worth fighting for.  There is always the small claims court option.

I will just say I am planning on buying myself a new Macbook to replace the one I am giving back to the company — so it is enough for me to care about. I am ALSO getting a week's of VERY NEEDED vacation before I start this new job instead of losing the money AND the vacation. I won't be able to take a vacation at this new job for several months, so I am getting that out of the way and getting down-time. I have spent 3+ nights a week at coffee shops working from 5:30 PM until midnight looking for a new job since the first week of September — so I am BEAT!!!

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Just don't burn bridges as you leave, even in a hostile work environment. Had a place stealing money from it's employees and when people found out they went crazy. As everyone started leaving they destroyed or stole equipment or just went off on everybody before they left. I told owners they would be hearing from my attorney and few weeks later we settled, but said goodbye to everyone else and asked that we keep in touch looking for work. One of the managers ended up bringing me with him to our next gig and that wouldn't have happened if I went off the handle.

In this case, I will be VERY professional. I am going to send a resignation email to everyone I work with who I like in the company (my entire marketing department, plus people in other departments I really like) explaining why I am doing it, and letting them know I will always give them a good reference whenever their name comes up (I already have for a few people who others have asked me about just this week).

I will completely "clean" my computer of personal files, unlock any passwords so the next owner can jump right in, leave my backup files easily accessible, turn in my keys and parking pass to the front desk recepitionist, and go into the HR office and make a formal announcement at the end of my last day (before they go home). There will be no destruction of property, or bad-mouthing people, or anything of the sort. I will just not be giving them any notice before I resign. It will be swifter and more un-announced than General Petraeus's.

The company will have no other reason to retaliate other than to try and claim they do not want to pay me for a vacation I already took and got paid for.

I have burned bridges before with no effect on my career. This will be the 4th time I believe (at least). Now, there is "burning a bridge" and "blowing it up with 10lbs of C4, dropping a nuke, and leaving the territory un-inhabitable for the human population for the next 50 years" — of which I have done both.

As far as future reference goes — there are 2 sides to this coin. Hiring managers (the ones who MAKE the decisions) don't care about anything other than if you can do the job above and beyond expectations and solve their problems. In fact, throughout my career I have found that EVERY SINGLE TIME standing up for yourself rather than letting a company "F" you up the "A" works in my favor every single time. Leaders in companies tend to respect me more when they know I am not putting up with games than if I am a "yes man" who does what he is told. This has been the case every single time in my career.

IN FACT — some of my "burning bridges" stories have HELPED me get a job because of a "bond" created by someone in a NEW company who finds the story amusing or has done something similar themselves.

The OTHER SIDE of this coin are HUMAN RESOURCE personell and RECRUITERS.

THEY DO look at your employment history and try to discount you based on things of that nature. It is the HR/Recruiter's job to find "OBEDIENT WORKERS" (as George Carlin would say).

For the type of work I do, I always circumvent HR people and go right to the decision makers, regardless of whatever under-handed tactics I need to use to get there. I may make a phone call pretending to be a vendor asking who the Director of Marketing is, or what have you, and THEN come around the back side and send a cover letter / resume to them. I use back door channels and friends to find jobs.

For example — at THIS JOB — I sent my resume here on THREE SEPERATE OCCASIIONS for job postings over a 6 month span. I never got called in for an interview.

A friend of mine is good friends with one of the Directors here, and gave me his email address saying I could use him for a referral. I sent my resume to THAT PERSON — and had a job with an offer in-hand 3 days later.

In my INTERVIEW here, I met with various VPs and a few other developers, etc. and had GREAT REPORT with all of them immediately. The job was in the bag. THEN — I had to meet with the direcror of HUMAN RESOURCES, who sat there belittling me — looking at my resume saying "Well, I see here that between April of 2006 and June of 2006 you have a gap in your employment, WHY IS THAT!!!?????"

I said "VACATION" — I knew what she was up to and I wasn't going to sit there and let her treat me like crap even if it meant not getting the job.

THEN — she goes on "Well I can see you are a 'job hopper' and that you don't tend to stay at companies very long…"

I said "Well, if you look closely you will see that I spent several years at the companies I felt treated me with respect and paid me well."

She finally ended the conversation with "Well, if it were up to ME, I sure would not hire you, but unfortunately that decision is not mine to make. How much money are you expecting if by chance we do make you an offer?"

I told her and she laughed.

2 days later I could hear the ANGER in her voice as she called me to say not only was I being hired for the job, but the company decided to make me an offer higher than the number I asked her for. She was STILL looking for ways to disqualify me, but it backfired on her and here's why…

LATER ON down the road, my creative director here was looking for a new Graphic Designer and told a good friend of his to send in his resume and the deal was sealed.

3 weeks go by, and the CD hasn't heard anything and figured he wasn't looking anymore. The designer emailed him one day asking if he received the resume, and the creative director HAD NOT.

When he called up human resources and asked her why he never got this resume and she barked at him "Oh, I know who you are talking about. I didn't think he was any good so I threw it away."

The Human Resources "B" lost her job a week later, and the guy who's resume she threw in the trash is NOW the creative director of the company (because the old one quit).

You don't mess with the marketing department in a company that (at the time) is doing well. The marketing people are treated like GOLD when sales are good and have the run of the show. When things are BAD we are the first ones out the door.

With RECRUITERS — they are the same way as HR. I ignore them COMPLETELY. I refuse to return their calls, emails, and will never respond to a job ad that points to a recruiter's inbox. In fact when I SEE a job listing from a recruiter I usually try and use whatever back-handed tactic I can use to figure out who the company and contact is and go after it myself.

Companies also HATE hiring from recruiters when they can find someone directly. Going behind their backs just gets you more respect from the employer as a "go getter."

However, I have TWO recruiters who are personal friends of mine and LOVE sending me out on jobs because I always make them look good. The new job I have came from one of these recruiters.

Since she is a personal friend of mine, she ALREADY KNOWS what I am doing here and thinks it is HYSTERICAL and wishes more people had the balls to stand up to crappy companies.

I only went on a rant like this because people are CONSTANTLY telling me how I am going to "get in trouble" for "breaking the rules."

I'm sorry kids, but "breaking the rules" is how you get AHEAD. Why send out 200 resumes into a black hole and never get a callback when you can find the hiring manager and cut right to the chase.

Who wins in our society? The BANKSTERS or the "sheep" who bail them out?

The BANKSTERS are getting taxpayer funded bonuses by breaking the rules while the OBEDIENT WORKERS are giving up their bonuses and tax money to fund them.

ENOUGH SAID.

I am cut - throat, but you are looking at someone who has also been FIRED from a job for GOING TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THE BIRTH OF MY SON… So I am JUST AS CUT-THROAT as the people I work for. It cuts both ways sometimes and you just have to take your lumps as you go.

That being said, I am not a JERK. I keep it professional when I can. There was one company I walked out on who stopped payment on my last paycheck and it was taken back out of my account (it "bounced" 10 days after the deposit was made). I never went back after them for it because at the TIME, it wasn't worth my time. I had to move on.

This time it is worth getting paid what I am owed.

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Wouldnt hurt to let the new employer know exactly whats going on at the current place-
Without divuldging company secrets, just the way the mass exodus is handled....
Keeping them aware, up front, of potentially negative actions by your current employer is helpful.
It would certainly be unlawful, it may suprise your new employer and create tension they dont need.

There's no need for my new employer to know anything. The Recruiter who is paying me knows and agrees with ME 110% and is even taking me out to dinner sometime next week so we can laugh and drink up a toast to her commission and my new job. If they retaliate against me, I will keep it to myself and handle it professionally.

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Sueing your old employer can taint you for any future employers as they may find this in a check of your work record.

Lesson to learn is take your vacation time, don't try to bank it. Failing companies are always going to minimize expenses by not paying for old vacation time.

So I agree with your exit strategy. Move to the new job forget completely about anything left in the old one, it's not worth stressing on.

I agree. I had already planned to use the vacation time before this new job came along. I cannot push back my new start date and have no intention of losing the vacation time and pay. If they retaliate against me when I leave, then I will report them to the Dept. of Labor, and I will go to small claims court just to be a dick. The company has a horrible reputation in town right now and people would find it amusing more than detrimental in my future job searches, PLUS that puts it in the head of a new employer not to mess with me right on day one.

What did Tony Soprano say to do on your first day in prison? "Walk right up to the biggest baddest dude in the joint, and knock him on his ass for no reason. Then, nobody will ever mess witchew!!!"

I would rather lose a job because someone thinks I won't put up with their crap than to get a crappy job because I sit there and "take it."

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The only thing I would advise you to do is to check your specific states laws and make sure you are not breaking any of them (if you are, it sounds like your employer will go after you)


Here in Illinois I could leave Monday and my employer couldn't do anything about it. They could also fire me Monday, and as long as it wasn't in a discriminatory fashion, I couldn't really do anything about it.

Every state is a bit different though.


My state is an "At Will" state — and I can be terminated or resign at any time without notice with no repercussions or recourse. I know all about these things from past experiences.

The company that fired me for going to the hospital for the birth of my son actually CONTESTED my unemployment, and I fought back against them HARD and won that too. I REFUSE to let crooks win. When someone picks a fight with me they lose, that is just it. I make it my life's work to win at that point and I will do whatever is necessary. I am not vengeful, more like an animal who just wants to be left alone until backed in a corner.

SO, that leads to the reason for my leaving this way. The company DOES NOT owe me for my accrued vacation time when I leave. That is at the discretion of the company to give it out or not, however they DO OWE ME under no uncertain terms for ANY DAYS I actually WORK.

Therefore, by TAKING my vacation, waiting until I am actually PAID for it, and THEN quitting — they still owe me for that last week I will be here waiting to get paid for the pay period where I took that vacation.

Let's say I resign the DAY BEFORE I intend to, then they could stick me unpaid for that week of vacation and I have no recourse against them. Once that money is in my hands it is a done deal, then I have one more week of ACTUAL WORK they still owe me for.

I spent all last weekend thinking this through so this isn't just some "heat of the moment" decision. This time it works out in my favor to do it this way, and since the company will not exist in a year or two (remember, $18 DOLLARS per share down to $.36 CENTS per share). They are getting de-listed from the NASDAQ as I type this.

I have TEN SOLID REFERENCES, including the OLD creative director, the NEW creative director, and I am 100% certain the VP of marketing who is still HERE will back me up because he is ALSO someone like me who doesn't put up with anyone's crap — and I would not be surprised if he calls me out for a beer when this is all said and done to clear any air once I am out the door.

There aren't any people who disagree with me, except for say my MOTHER if I were to tell her (which I don't discuss business with her). She would just say the whole corporate pe-on response of "Do what you are told and don't burn that bridge" — when it has been my 16 years of experience that tells me to BURN THAT SUCKER if you must, but as any military strategist would tell you, LEAVE IT INTACT if you can hold the position and use it as a strategic position in the future. If not, BLOW THE SUCKER TO KINGDOM COME!!!

I will update this as things shake down. I do not expect any major upset in my life as a result of this, I am just covering my bases well in advance as anyone with half a brain should do in the situation.

It is all about SURVIVAL baby, and when you are head over heels in debt as I am, every "week's worth" of pay helps!

I am much more concerned about getting out of debt and protecting myself and my family than I am about "doing the right thing" and trust me, the company you work for by and large is more concerned about "maximizing profit" than doing the "right thing" as well.

Ask Bayer about when they sold the HIV tainted Factor H blood transfusion packs to AFRICA instead of throwing them in the GARBAGE because it was more profitable to give a bunch of "dirt people" some AIDS IN A BAG than it was to throw them out. "Gotta clear that inventory at cost if we can" said some marketing douche bag at the conference room table.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 12:38:01 PM »
Quote
I would rather lose a job because someone thinks I won't put up with their crap than to get a crappy job because I sit there and "take it."

I am breaking the stream of the thread here, but I have some good advice for job seekers…

It is WAAAAAAY more important to establish good raport in a job interview than it is to demonstrate whatever work you have done in the past. OH MY GOD I can't even tell you how important that is.

The last 3 jobs I have had, I never ONCE had to show them my portfolio!!!

They saw my resume, called me in based on the experiences and highlights alone. I always use the same approach…

I have my "power suit" and I am decked out to the HILT, every visual detail thought of. My hair, I literally sit and BUFF / polish my fingernails and give myself a professional manicure, my expensive looking cufflinks match my tie clip, belt buckle, etc etc. I remove my laptop, and lucky business folder from my normal EDC computer backpack and use a professional briefcase style laptop bag. Every single thing down to what PEN I have in my pocket is well thought out in advance.

People crap themselves when they see me in business mode, because NOMRALLY I am found in a wife beater and jeans 95% of the time! They have to double-take because they cannot even vision me this way.

Everything, my socks, shoes, and I even wear matching silk BOXERS (it is just a confidence thing at that point to know you are FULLY dressed and well thought out).

The interview I went on for this NEW JOB went as follows:

"Wow, you didn't have to get all dressed up, it is jeans friday here…"

Followed by a bunch of banter an small talk. He asked me a few questions about some things on my resume which more or less required a "YES" answer. We talked about some things he likes / dislikes about the company, and small talk.

I did some research, so I dropped tidbits about their company in the appropriate slots, pointed out that my eye for perfection (as a designer) is so good I already notice the crooked company logo on that winder over there (pointing to it) and the guy laughed pretty hard saying HE never noticed it before.

I got a call less than a week later saying they were offering me the job and foregoing the second interview because they were so impressed with the first one, they don't need me to even meet the head of the department until my first day on the job.

DONE DEAL.

I never showed them ONE SINGLE PORTFOLIO PIECE and they never checked one single reference or even CARED about any of my employment history other than the types of "things" I have done.

I can't tell you how many friends of mine I have told about my "power suit" technique who have gone out and doubled their income just from wearing a stinking SUIT.

My best friend went from being a line cook to a restaurant manager because he found a good looking SUIT.

Just throwing in some handy bits of knowledge here.

It may sound ARROGANT, but this is a game of survival and in a crappy economy if I can make myself look like some powerful businessman and get a HUGE raise because I wore a nice suit and am comfortable talking to people, and don't even need to leverage my experience to get it — then SO BE IT!

Maybe this post in the thread would be better served in a new thread about "Tips for NAILING job interviews and finding clients / work" because that is one thing I DO know a thing or two about.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 12:58:01 PM »
I SHOULD HAVE thanked all of you FIRST for the awesome replies…

So there you go!!!

I LOVE this forum, you people are awesome!

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I suggest you:
- Call the Labor agency in your state and describe the situation and ask them what your rights are, and what recourse you have if the company violates State law.  Ask for a reference to applicable State law or code so you can refer the employer to same.  Include asking whether you have any obligation to give 2 weeks notice (some times State labor law will over rule any contract agreement, that is the agreement may violate State law).

I have been thinking a call like this would be in order next week as I am covering my bases some more. THANK YOU for giving me some specific things to mention and how to structure that call!

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- Call a Labor attorney and ask for a consultation.  Many attorneys will give you a free 30 minute consultation to review your position and they will tell you whether they think you can benefit from legal representation or if you have no case worth pursuing.

GOOD ONE! I never thought of leveraging the "free" consultation to get some information, even if I have no intention of doing so. I could probably go one further and leverage a friend of a friend who is an attorney who helped me with a simple child support hearing for cheap (had to pay his travel expense and an hour or so of his time). It is a full service firm and he may be able to just give me an answer quickly.

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- Document EVERYTHING.  Make sure you have records of all your time worked, paychecks, earned vacation statements, copy of work agreement and terms, and any communications you have with HR or management.

I do have all of that stuff going back to my hire date (learn from past mistakes) including the handbook and policy regarding unpaid vacation time etc.

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- DO NOT drag your new employer into this mess at all.  If you need time off for court then just tell them it is a pending civil legal matter.

No intention whatsoever for that. I always have the convenient excuse of a hypochondriac daughter who always needs to go to the doctor as an "out" when I need a day off. That is the excuse I always take for an unexpected day off.

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- If the Labor agency, work agreement, and/or attorney indicate you are NOT obligated to give two weeks notice then I certainly would NOT give them even an hours notice.  Gradually start moving your personal items out of office and to your vehicle.  Do so at night if you want to reduce rumors.  In other words, get yourself totally ready to terminate and then hand a written resignation/notice to the HR manager with any keys, pass cards, and issued equipment.  Do not be emotional, complain or anything, just matter of fact "I quit, here is your stuff, I already removed my stuff, I can find the door myself."  Your resignation letter should state that you have contacted State Labor and an attorney and expect the employer to fulfill all their legal obligations regarding pay, OT, vacation and sick leave or you will pursue all legal avenues for redress.

LMFAO — Already ahead of ya! When the company announced we are losing our health insurance and moving us to a high deductible plan that will NOT ONLY cost me MORE in monthly premiums, but will NOT COVER A SINGLE PENNY of health care expenses until you meet the $5,000 minimum and THEN only pays 80% — I took EVERYTHING out of my office home with me over a week long period. I did it gradually and only took whatever fit in my backpack at the time. The only personal items in my office now are a fan (which I need because the thermostat is set to 100 it seems), and a can of protein powder!!!

I never thought to state that I already contacted the labor dept. and attorney and expect them to fulfull obligations. I did not want my resignation letter to sound even THAT hostile, but maybe I will include that in the one I send to HR which will be seperate from the one I am sending the department / colleagues (and I plan on handing everything in person to the appropriate parties, and telling HR in person before I walk out the door (requesting my last paycheck to be mailed instead of deposited since the bank account will no longer exist, and I was informed by my bank's branch manager that even if I maintain a ZERO BALANCE and the employer tries to dip into it, the bank WILL honor it and stick ME with a negative balance, but if I outright close it they cannot touch me without a court order).

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Many times employers like this are used to bullying employers knowing most do not know their work rights and believe they lack means to fight it.  But, if you make it known that know your standing with State law and have contacted an attorney and State Labor agency they most likely will comply.

I agree. I will certainly keep that in mind and probably put that in writing in a professional manner (email) when I leave and I will surely have everything regarding the matter printed and documented before the last week there. I plan on having it all ready before I even come back from vacation. I really intend to write a nice letter to everyone I like here letting them know we are still "cool" in my book (professionally speaking).

I do not REALLY expect this to be an issue, and I am ONLY taking these measures pre-resignation because of how I personally saw them retaliate against people who DID give them the proper notice when they left and did everything "by the rules" so to speak.

I have no reason to go down the path those people did at this point.

osubuckeye4

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 01:11:38 PM »

My state is an "At Will" state — and I can be terminated or resign at any time without notice with no repercussions or recourse. I know all about these things from past experiences.



Illinois is an "At Will" state as well.

I gotta say, I think you're kind of overthinking this.

Definitely use your vacation (you earned it) then inform HR you are leaving and hand over all company property to them so they can't go after you for that.

Now, IF (that's the keyword) they go after your bank account or try to short you for vacation... THEN, by all means, go ahead and retaliate right back. Call up a labor board rep and go after them.

You're kind of getting ahead of yourself though.

It's kind of like when someone plans the next 7 moves in chess... but a checkmate is possible in one move. Don't overthink yourself here. :)


Also, if there is one thing I have learned over the years... it's that there are two sides to every story. You might implicitely trust your former co-workers and it's possible that they might 100% believe the stories they are telling you and it's also possible they are correct and your employer is violating a bunch of state laws.

BUT, it's also possible that your friends are leaving out key pieces of information which explain why your employer is getting away with the things your friends are telling you.


Personal example:

I had a buddy who got fired a few years back. We were on the same basketball team so I continued to see him every week. Every week he would bad mouth my current employer becuase they were contesting his unemployment benefits. At first I was agreeing with him and got a really sour impression of my employer. After awhile though I ended up asking some people in the know, after work hours, (I'm drinking buddies with some HR people) and found out the TRUE story. The truth was, he actually took a swing at one of our vice-presidents when he was let go. It was so bad that he had to be escorted out of the building by uniformed police officers. Apparently very few people saw it happen, and those who did were told not to speak about it becuase the company was deciding on if they wanted to pursue legal action (he was very lucky they did not, he was also very lucky that our VP has decent reflexes and he missed hitting him).

The funny thing is, he never mentioned that part to me, but it definitely explained why my company was contesting his unemployment.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 01:32:10 PM »
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I gotta say, I think you're kind of overthinking this.

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

The ONLY reason I have put THIS MUCH planning into it is because I have not only been BURNED in the past when I figured I was over-thinking things only to find out I WASN'T — but also the way the people were treated here I know when they left.

There was nothing those people did when they left to deserve it, I mean we took those people out for their "farewell lunch" on someone's company card on their last day, and that isn't something you do when an employee leaves on "bad terms" LOL.

The CEO has flat out said "I am sick of 'rewarding people' who leave the company, and I refuse to do so any longer."

Which more accurately stated is "I am sick of having employees who aren't willing to let me stick it to them, who have the 'audacity' to expect to get paid the money they EARNED."

The ONLY reason my good friend here who just quit before me did not just pack up and LEAVE the MINUTE they took away her bonus she was entitled to from the PREVIOUS YEAR'S performance out of SPITE that she QUIT was because the CEO's new HUSBAND here is the CFO of the company she got her new job at.

If she had just stood up and walked out the door, she would have left our department in a BIG pickle, AND screwed up her new job at the same time since our CEO's husband has enough clout to ruin her life over there.

She isn't even planning on keeping the new job long if she isn't happy with it, it is just a stepping stone to something better where she doesn't have to sit HERE looking for a better opportunity.

But yeah. I HATE THE FACT I felt the need to completely over-think this stupid situation, but at the same time I will never let myself get burned for lack of planning and foresight.

Sure, I can think 7 moves ahead in chess even though I COULD check mate in one — but you never know when some cheater might re-arrange the pieces on the board when you have to go to the bathroom for a minute unless you snap a photo of the board with your cell phone camera before stepping out!!!

Offline Freebirde

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 05:18:45 PM »
Speaking of "snap a photo", take a daily newspaper of last day in with you.     Photograph your work area with that paper visible in each shot.   That way if they claim something missing or damaged the photos, with the dated newpaper, will show the condition when you left.

I worked for a pest control company that any problems that the branch had was always the fault of the last person to leave.    I got an extra dose, I quit in front of our manager's boss and told them why.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Seeking advice for quitting a job on bad terms...
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2012, 10:01:02 PM »
Adam B., I sincerely wish you the best of luck on this problem, and at your new job.

But I'm locking this thread.  It's great that forum members can share their problems here -- but thousands and thousands of words on one personal issue, no, that's not what TSP Forum is here for.  Sorry.