Unemployment Hearing Lawyer Representing Only Employees in Chester County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and Philadelphia
Should I Quit My Job in Pennsylvania?
One prominent management-side employment lawyer is fond of saying, with a great deal of zest I might add, "a quit is always better than a fire!" His credo is the almost universal credo of all management. Why does management feel that way? Let's explore, and expose for you certain management philosophies and strategies in the process!
Chances are, if you are being asked to quit your job, your employer is thinking about trying to deny you unemployment benefits! And, if they are asking you to quit, that usually (but not always) means that you haven't done anything bad to justify your termination. That is, the employer does not really believe you engaged in "willful misconduct."
If a desire to deny you unemployment benefits is not the primary issue for the employer (it's always part of the issue, trust me!), then it may be concerned that its treatment of you could give rise to some sort of employment-related lawsuit. That message is usually delivered something like this: "Well, we'll pay you some severance, and we won't contest your claim for unemployment if you sign this release." Then, you quit and, when you file suit, they say, " Your loss of wages came about not because you were [discriminated against, harassed, retaliated against, etc.], but because you quit your job. If you had only given us a chance to fix the problem, we would have, and you'd still be happily employed today. But you didn't, and we're not paying you anything because you are responsible for your loss of the job." Or words to that effect!
Of course, sometimes employers just want you to quit and sign a release in exchange for some severance so that they do not have to worry about you filing a baseless lawsuit against them. If you polled HR in America, the overwhelming, vast majority (say 99%) would assert that such fears of totally baseless lawsuits are the only reason they ever offer severance. They would say to me vigorously, "Who are you, a workplace advocate who has litigated numerous discrimination, etc. claims against companies over the past 20 years, to say otherwise?!" To which I reply, "Otherwise." But that doesn't mean that the fear over baseless lawsuits from employees who are perceived to be "trouble" is not accurate. Believe me, many people get very angry when they are fired, and the EEOC's doors are always open to one and all. So, I get that rationale is a valid reason for some offers of severance.
But, still, it begs the question -- why does the company want to insist that you quit your job?
Employers will often suggest that you should quit rather than being fired "so your record is clean." What record? Unlike public criminal records, or credit reports, there is no such thing as a public employment record. Employers do not enter information about why you no longer work for them in any sort of database to be compiled and disseminated to future prospective employers.
So, I surmise, the most common factor in all employer requests for an employee's resignation is the employer's desire to avoid paying or being charged for the employee's unemployment benefits.
If You Are Fired for Poor Performance, You Still Get Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania
That's right, if you are fired for poor performance, you can can usually get unemployment benefits. So, if the employer wants to get rid of you because it feels that you are "not up to the job," don't quit, Make them fire you. Why?
Because if you quit, I can guarantee you that, either in their zest to defeat your claim for unemployment benefits or simply because they honestly "misremember" what exactly happened when you separated from employment, many (not all, but many) employers will tell unemployment that they weren't going to fire you. If you quit and the Unemployment Referee believes your employer's testimony (that you quit) , you will be denied unemployment because you voluntarily quit your job without a necessitous and compelling reason.
Thus, since no one will know whether you were a quit versus a termination, and your chances of getting unemployment depreciate significantly if you quit -- don't quit that job! Further, quitting your job may have a significant impact on your rights under state and federal employment laws which exist, I might add, because the U.S. Congress, and the legal system have determined that, indeed, sometimes employers do terminate employees for illegal reasons. Otherwise, indeed!
Discrimination Lawyer Serving Individuals in Locations Such as Malvern, Exton, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Collegeville, Lansdale, Pottstown, Newtown Square, Radnor, Broomall and Surrounding Areas
If you are facing imminent termination, call a qualified employment lawyer to discuss your options. Don't get pressured into a quick and irreversible quit.
Have more questions about Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania? Click Here. Have additional questions concerning how to prove unlawful discrimination? Click Here.
John A. Gallagher, Philadelphia Area Employment Attorney.