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I recently took a position and started this new job and the only reason I left my previous employer was because this was supposed to be the promotional opportunity that I was searching for. Unfortunately, things have not gone well at all and within 3 weeks into this company, my boss began saying that "it's feeling like this is not a good fit".

7 weeks in, and they put me on a PIP that claims "Within 1 week, I need to see continued steady improvements on..." and realistically the bullet points are so high-level and not measurable, I feel like they just want to get me out of there because it's been a definite mismatch of what their expectations of the role were and my experience and my expectations of the position were for.

From the many different people I spoke to, everybody has told me they have never heard of a PIP being evaluated within 1 week, it sounds like they have already made their decision of letting me go. Regardless, I am just continuing to working to my best of knowledge and experience, but have accepted the reality that they are going to terminate me for not passing this 1-week PIP.

If that happens, I just want to know that I will still be eligible for receiving unemployment if I have not been able to get through this PIP while I continue my job search?

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    country and state tag, please? Your question is about a legal matter that varies greatly with location – Hilmar Jul 19 '20 at 16:22
  • You need to add a locale, but this may get closed because it’s asking for legal advice. In most places, in general, you get unemployment after being fired unless it was from misconduct, but the details vary by country, state, and even city and job sector... So maybe, you’d need to look at the unemployment rules wherever you are. – mxyzplk Jul 19 '20 at 16:23
  • PIP is last-hoorah before firing in general, not just when it's short. By that time the decision was almost always done already. – Tymoteusz Paul Jul 19 '20 at 16:25
  • Sorry, it’s for US - IL – WoW2004 Jul 19 '20 at 17:24
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In Illinois, you can apply for and collect unemployment after being fired for performance reasons (assuming you meet all the other criteria). You can only be denied benefits if fired for misconduct.

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Having gone through this myself two years ago, yes, should you not pass your PIP and are dismissed, you will still receive UI benefits if you tried your best to improve and you couldn't.

Items that would disqualify you from UI (this is from Massachusetts, but other states will vary)

Quitting

If you voluntarily quit or you abandon your job (e.g. no call, no show for two consecutive days), you are considered ineligible for UI.

Gross Misconduct

If you are terminated for gross misconduct, you are considered ineligible for UI. Some items that constitute gross misconduct are

  1. Theft (including personal theft and embezzlement from the company)
  2. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  3. Fighting/threats of bodily harm
  4. Breach of confidentiality
  5. Damage to company property

Most of the time, a PIP is over several weeks, even months, as a way to get people to improve their performance before they are dismissed (and is often coupled with warnings). In cases where a job is not a good fit, this is not gross misconduct and your state UI would agree as much.

Just to keep yourself safe, I would document everything (names, dates, incidents) in case your company contests your UI claim and/or state UI agency denies it, especially if think it was a constructive dismissal (i.e. your employers made your working conditions so miserable that you had no choice but to quit). You do, of course, have the opportunity to appeal any decisions, so the more backup you have, the better it will be.

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  • You may want to include the obligatory "document everything". "constructive dismissal" is VERY hard to prove, unless you can document the behavior, as well as the time and place of said behavior. – Old_Lamplighter Jul 20 '20 at 14:07
  • Done. I've edited my post. – bjcolby15 Jul 20 '20 at 21:03
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A PIP is usually nothing more than establishing a paper trail for firing someone for cause. In some companies, it's a defensive move, for others, it's in preparation for fighting an unemployment claim.

The good news is that unemployment is becoming aware of this.

Your unemployment shouldn't get denied, but if it does, you can probably fight it, have all the documentation possible, including the fact that you were getting the vague feedback of "not a good fit", and that you were only given a week.

Unfortunately, UI is overwhelmed right now, and the claim may take a while to process regardless.

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  • This doesn't seem to add anything to the other answers. – DJClayworth Jul 21 '20 at 16:30
  • @DJClayworth what improvements do you suggest? Perhaps an answer of your own? – Old_Lamplighter Jul 21 '20 at 16:47
  • I think the existing answers are fine. My point is that yours doesn't add anything useful to them. – DJClayworth Jul 21 '20 at 16:48
  • @DJClayworth and how does your comment improve this answer? – Old_Lamplighter Jul 21 '20 at 16:49

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