I've been in a company for 8 months now and I have signed a contract for 1 year and I have finished my project. My contract is not specific to this project; it is a year term of employment for the specific position.

This month, the company is trying to place me in another team. HR said I have two options:

One is to be in a new team for 18 months for another contract without a raise. Second option is they are forcing me to file a resignation, because my project is completed as of today.

The HR representative was being rude when talking to me about my status. She even tried to force me to resign that day when she talked to me about transferring me to another team. She also unethically talked about my performance, that the latest project did not meet its deadline without any performance evidence about this.

I asked her where she got that performance based from and she said it was someones gossip. She said that If she were in my position, she would file a resignation and she would help me find another company. She even made me update my resume so that she could give it to another company that she said would be better to maximize my talent.

I don't really know what to do. I am having mixed emotions these days, and they want my feedback about my options. My boss also knows these options. I know its unethical for the HR to say all this but I don't want any war to start with.

How can I avoid this things in the future to avoid this scenario to happened again? What can I do so that employees will not face the same situation that have happened to me?

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    Please clarify a few points: Does your contract state that it will end early if the project is finished? Or is it for one year, without exceptions? If the latter, how can the company "force" you to resign? – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 7:49
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    Also, I don't understand the sentence starting with "She even forced me to resign that day [...]." Has she already forced you to resign, or did she just try? And how can she claim your project missed its deadline when you write you finished it before your year was up? What exactly does your contract say? – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 7:50
  • My contract does not state that to end when a project is finished. The contract also does not state also any projects. The Contract is a year term of employment for the specific position. She did just try to resign me. The project missed its deadline because it has a specific date to meet. – Jon Mar 17 '16 at 9:05
  • Thanks for the clarification. Please edit your question, rather than replying in comments, so everyone sees it (link "edit" under question). Also, open questions like "what should I do" are not appropriate here - please ask a more precise question indicating your goal (like "How can I keep my job?" or "How do I get a good reference?", "How do I push back against HR?"). – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 9:15
  • You're welcome. I edited your question a bit to make it easier to read. Feel free to re-edit if there is anything wrong. – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 9:48

They can't force you to resign, and they can't force you to sign another 18 month contract. What they can do: Move you to another team until your contract runs out, or fire you. If you refuse to move to the other team until your contract runs out (unless that other team is many miles away) they have a reason to fire you, otherwise they have no reason to fire you - may make a difference depending what contract you are in.

Being laid off is almost always better for you than resigning. So don't resign. I'd recommend looking for a job elsewhere as soon as possible in the given situation, unless you move to the new team and it turns out you like it there.

However, there may have been some misunderstanding there. If the HR person offered you help finding a position elsewhere, and even offered you to help with your CV (which could be some very valuable help), that is in conflict with you calling them rude.

To clarify this: We have an employer who is said to be unethical and forces an employee to resign yet offers help finding a position elsehwere and help with a CV. These things just don't fit together. Unethical employers wouldn't help you finding a job elsewhere. I would look at the possibility that someone has been completely misunderstanding what they were told by HR.

Also, in my experience contracting jobs are often not for a fixed time frame (like one year), but an estimate for the time frame is given. If I enter a contracting position, I expect the company to say "we expect that there will be 2 months / 12 months of work", and won't take a contract position that doesn't fit with my plans. But I can't expect it to take exactly that time.

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    Actually, it's not clear that OP can be fired. This is a legal question of course, but terminating a contract with a contractor is different from firing an employee, and usually only possible if the contract allows for it. If the contract is for one year, period, they may have to pay the full year no matter what. – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 9:54
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    Which brings us back to "read the contract. If you disagree with the company's interpretation of it, hire a lawyer to read the contract and tell you what your options are." – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 10:23

If you had a one-year contract it was presumably for a particular task. If the task is done, you're done, even if you finished it in less than a year. If it has been a year, you're done, even if the task isn't.

As a contractor, you now have two choices. You can sign another contract with this company to work on what they want you to work on -- which, yes, may be completely unrelated to what you have been working on -- or you go find a contract elsewhere.

In fact, you should have been talking to this company, and to others, right along so you had your next gig ready to go when this one ended. That's part of being a contractor; you have to be your own salesman and manager in addition to your technical duties. If this blindsided you, you weren't paying attention

HR has given you an offer to sign up for another contract. They didn't have to do so; they could have just said "thank you, goodbye and good luck." They also didn't have to offer to write a good reference letter, but they did so. Honestly, I don't see anything for you to complain about here; they've not only been ethical, they've been helpful.

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    The OP may have misplaced expectations and may have been blindsided by what exactly a contract actually entails. For some reason the OP mentioned a "raise". I mean... contracts just don't work that way. If you want a "raise", you mention it before you sign, and you don't automatically get them either. It is negotiated when you sign. – Nelson Mar 17 '16 at 2:32
  • Yeah, I'm assuming this is someone who didn't have contract work fully explained to them before they signed up for it. But I was trying not to do a complete "what does it mean to be a contractor/consultant rather than an employee" essay here; that would be too large as an answer and is actually covered pretty well by scattered answers to other questions. I wonder. whether the OP also missed the fact that they probably weren't getting the same benefits that employees get. – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 2:39
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    It's also odd the way the OP is writing their scenario. You don't "resign" from contracts. If it ends, there is no resignation. It's just ends. There may have been some miscommunication already taken place. To the OP. I advise you re-read this answer couple times and also reviewthe original contract that you signed, and reorient your expectation, and probably apologize to the HR for miscommunication if it has taken place. – Nelson Mar 17 '16 at 2:49
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    The first part of this answer is now obsolete, because OP updated their answer to indicate that the contract is indeed for a year, and not for a particular project. The rest of the answer is still good, though. – sleske Mar 17 '16 at 9:49

You can't be forced to file a resignation, but you can be fired. Depending on local laws you may be able to do something about that.

If you have a contract to employ you for a year, then you have every right to continue working for a year until it runs out. But you're in a toxic situation, I read it as you can either leave early, or they will find a way to terminate you. So best to get a good reference and start job hunting or take the job offered.

  • Unless the contract says hired to do task X to our satisfaction, not to exceed a year... Which is how I would have written it it's I was hitting. OP needs to look at the exact wording of the contract. – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 6:32
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    Thats not a one year contract then, it's just a timeframe isn't it? – Kilisi Mar 17 '16 at 6:47
  • It's a contract for task with time limit, which a careless or inexperienced reader could misunderstand as a term contract. Yes, raw time contracts also exist, but on one of those there is absolutely no justification for refusing a reasonable reassignment within that time. Either way, the original poster seems to be taking an unreasonable position. – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 6:54
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    My contract does not state that to end when a project is finished. The contract also does not state also any projects. The Contract is a year term of employment for the specific position. – Jon Mar 17 '16 at 9:05
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    @sleske: OP has the option of not extending the contract. If it is extended, it's a new contract and may be completely different work. If OP doesn't want to do that other work, don't renew; take the good reference and move on. I still see nothing out of the ordinary going on here except a confused contractor. – keshlam Mar 17 '16 at 10:07

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