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Fired during probationary period -- what do do?

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  • May 13th, 2018 11:57 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2017
14 posts
5 upvotes

Fired during probationary period -- what do do?

Accountant with CPA, CMA here. I took a job in as a Senior Accountant/Assistant Controller, i had 5 years experience in various roles at the Junior/Intermediate level and moved provinces to take this job. Now it hasn't worked out. I was only there about 6 weeks and it completely came out of the blue, apparently there were issues with my performance that were not brought to my attention -- no emails or even a sit down meeting pertaining to performance deficiencies and obviously wasn't given a chance to improve at all. They didn't even offer constructive feedback during my time there nor go into details on my dismissal -- other than I didn't seem to have any urgency.

I have done some research on termination during probationary period and have seen some conflicting information. That being said, the company is offering to pay me 2 weeks + $1000. Is this reasonable? I left a secure, stable job, that I spent 2.5 years at, and had a bonus coming...they offered to pay my bonus upon completion of the probationary period.

In terms of finding a new job: How do I word as to why I left? I'll be reaching out to my professional network here...I was thinking something like "poor communication from those in charge of expectations." Do I put it on my resume or leave it off? If I keep the old job on there, I can just say I left to pursue other opportunities as my wife is coming here to be a doctor (which is true).

Anything else I should be doing? I plan to take a personal inventory of myself, and exercise...a lot. Thanks in advance...this sucks!
19 replies
Jr. Member
Apr 13, 2010
130 posts
32 upvotes
Sounds very corporate in terms of how this was pulled on to you. It sucks. Some firms download performance management off of the manager's responsibilities and encourage a culture where employees "manage up" and have the onus on seeking feedback. My last firm was like that and it opened my eyes on how they make even management of employees an exercise on efficiency.

Anyway, soapbox over.

I was in a similiar situation and I stayed on for a year until I got my package and also got a lawyer to take a look at it. I had about 6 weeks for a full year and a half of work, and the lawyer assessed it was fair on the grounds of not only time but also my age and my ability to find another role on the market; the courts will assess it holistically. I'd say a 2 weeks and a grand within a probation period might seem unfair based on the sacrifices you made to take the job but by what i was assessed against, I'm not sure if the lawyers will squeeze more out out of it.

As far telling story is concerned, one firm actually gave me a second and third interview after I told them straight forward that I was fired and I outlined all the reasons on how it happened, why happened, and how I intend to fix it. It was a global consulting firm and they actually brought me in for a second and third round (I ultimately didn't continue since they dragged their heels, decided to take another offer). So sometimes honesty pays. But in all honesty, it was 6 weeks; you can also leave it off depending on what your principles are, and indicating your move from your last job was for personal reasons - coming to a new province to start work, if you intend to stay in local area.

Having a strike against you definitely sucks but I find companies won't completely shun you unless you had a very personal transgression, or if its your first strike in your career.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
6911 posts
3919 upvotes
Edmonton
An employer in Canada can terminate an employee without cause at any point (assuming no employment contract overrides this), as long as they give sufficient notice or severance. In your case, they're offering two weeks notice, which is more than they're required to do (most likely, although you don't give a location, so I'm guessing here). So basically, you're probably out of luck in terms of asking/demanding any more. The promises they made about paying your bonus after your probationary period are moot, since you didn't make it past that. If you have some information that supports a different point of view, feel free to post them here and they can be discussed. But here's my links:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report- ... e33053530/
https://www.coxandpalmerlaw.com/en/home ... aryem.aspx
http://blog.firstreference.com/wp-conte ... ._3328.pdf

The second/third links includes discussion of a lawsuit that the employer lost after firing a probationary employee. But they lost not because they fired the employee without giving reasons or chances to improve, but because they didn't provide notice or severance.

As far as your next position goes, I'd be tempted to leave this one off the ol' resume, and take it as "time looking for new position". I don't usually advocate being "creative" with resumes, but in this case...

C
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1505 posts
535 upvotes
Tokyo
Options are:
1) Leave it on and simply say it wasn't a good fit
2) Leave it off and say you are awaiting for the right opportunity

I would go with #2, but there are no right answers here.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
22149 posts
8798 upvotes
Ottawa
McKinsey wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:34 am
Options are:
1) Leave it on and simply say it wasn't a good fit
2) Leave it off and say you are awaiting for the right opportunity

I would go with #2, but there are no right answers here.
+1
Sr. Member
Aug 4, 2010
927 posts
193 upvotes
Saying that there was "poor communication from those in charge of expectations" sounds very unprofessional. Sucks that it happened but if I read that, I'd think twice about interviewing you. I'd suggest to just leave it off completely as some others have suggested and say you moved for personal reasons (family etc) and are trying to find a job.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2017
14 posts
5 upvotes
ATrac wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:23 am
Sounds very corporate in terms of how this was pulled on to you. It sucks. Some firms download performance management off of the manager's responsibilities and encourage a culture where employees "manage up" and have the onus on seeking feedback. My last firm was like that and it opened my eyes on how they make even management of employees an exercise on efficiency.

Anyway, soapbox over.

I was in a similiar situation and I stayed on for a year until I got my package and also got a lawyer to take a look at it. I had about 6 weeks for a full year and a half of work, and the lawyer assessed it was fair on the grounds of not only time but also my age and my ability to find another role on the market; the courts will assess it holistically. I'd say a 2 weeks and a grand within a probation period might seem unfair based on the sacrifices you made to take the job but by what i was assessed against, I'm not sure if the lawyers will squeeze more out out of it.

As far telling story is concerned, one firm actually gave me a second and third interview after I told them straight forward that I was fired and I outlined all the reasons on how it happened, why happened, and how I intend to fix it. It was a global consulting firm and they actually brought me in for a second and third round (I ultimately didn't continue since they dragged their heels, decided to take another offer). So sometimes honesty pays. But in all honesty, it was 6 weeks; you can also leave it off depending on what your principles are, and indicating your move from your last job was for personal reasons - coming to a new province to start work, if you intend to stay in local area.

Having a strike against you definitely sucks but I find companies won't completely shun you unless you had a very personal transgression, or if its your first strike in your career.
Thank you for the kind words. Yes it does suck for sure. I have a friend who works at a large company and he got sandbagged pretty bad in his last performance review. He was under the impression everything was good and then they started laying the problems on him and when he asked why was he not told until now, they said "it's your responsibility to ask". Pretty shitty IMO.

I'm going to engage an employment lawyer today or tomorrow and see what they say. I have a sinking feeling you're right...realistically if they just gave me the equivalent of what my bonus was (which is about $1k off when you add the pay + $1k up), I'd be OK with that.

What do you mean by "personal transgression"? Not that I did anything LOL. Just curious what you meant by it.
CNeufeld wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:30 am
An employer in Canada can terminate an employee without cause at any point (assuming no employment contract overrides this), as long as they give sufficient notice or severance. In your case, they're offering two weeks notice, which is more than they're required to do (most likely, although you don't give a location, so I'm guessing here). So basically, you're probably out of luck in terms of asking/demanding any more. The promises they made about paying your bonus after your probationary period are moot, since you didn't make it past that. If you have some information that supports a different point of view, feel free to post them here and they can be discussed. But here's my links:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report- ... e33053530/
https://www.coxandpalmerlaw.com/en/home ... aryem.aspx
http://blog.firstreference.com/wp-conte ... ._3328.pdf

The second/third links includes discussion of a lawsuit that the employer lost after firing a probationary employee. But they lost not because they fired the employee without giving reasons or chances to improve, but because they didn't provide notice or severance.

As far as your next position goes, I'd be tempted to leave this one off the ol' resume, and take it as "time looking for new position". I don't usually advocate being "creative" with resumes, but in this case...

C
Thanks. I actually found the second case you linked and that's what prompted me to pose the "what am I entitled to question". Never hurts to ask...I'm going to leave it off the resume.
McKinsey wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:34 am
Options are:
1) Leave it on and simply say it wasn't a good fit
2) Leave it off and say you are awaiting for the right opportunity

I would go with #2, but there are no right answers here.

vkizzle wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:56 am

+1
I'm going with #2 as well. How do I handle it within my professional network?
RodDog999 wrote:
May 10th, 2018 11:27 am
Saying that there was "poor communication from those in charge of expectations" sounds very unprofessional. Sucks that it happened but if I read that, I'd think twice about interviewing you. I'd suggest to just leave it off completely as some others have suggested and say you moved for personal reasons (family etc) and are trying to find a job.
I wouldn't be saying that to potential interviewers...just my professional network. Is that still good?
Last edited by spicedndiet on May 10th, 2018 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Dec 29, 2012
72 posts
20 upvotes
Toronto
Similar situation happened to my former coworker in January. Laid off after ~5 weeks and got 2 weeks severance. Reason they gave was poor performance but he had no idea what he was doing wrong.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 27, 2006
8707 posts
2995 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
spicedndiet wrote:
May 10th, 2018 11:36 am
I wouldn't be saying that to potential interviewers...just my professional network. Is that still good?
What part of 'unprofessional' and professional network don't you understand? Don't say that to anyone except for may be close personal friends who won't use that information against you. Professional networks are just that... professional. Putting something out there that sounds very unprofessional no matter how justified you think it is will just shoot yourself in the foot in that professional network.
Jr. Member
Apr 13, 2010
130 posts
32 upvotes
spicedndiet wrote:
May 10th, 2018 11:36 am
Thank you for the kind words. Yes it does suck for sure. I have a friend who works at a large company and he got sandbagged pretty bad in his last performance review. He was under the impression everything was good and then they started laying the problems on him and when he asked why was he not told until now, they said "it's your responsibility to ask". Pretty shitty IMO.

I'm going to engage an employment lawyer today or tomorrow and see what they say. I have a sinking feeling you're right...realistically if they just gave me the equivalent of what my bonus was (which is about $1k off when you add the pay + $1k up), I'd be OK with that.

What do you mean by "personal transgression"? Not that I did anything LOL. Just curious what you meant by it.
Things have nothing to do with performance for your job's tasks, but your ethics and maturity. Like sexual harassment, trying to start a chokeslam a boss, peeing on the carpet....You get the deal.
Sr. Member
Apr 4, 2018
777 posts
175 upvotes
OP - agree with 95% of the posters above - you've received sound, comprehensive advice in this thread. Onwards and onward.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2011
8295 posts
1388 upvotes
Edmonton
Were you head hunted for the new position?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 29, 2008
2993 posts
306 upvotes
CNeufeld wrote:
May 10th, 2018 10:30 am
An employer in Canada can terminate an employee without cause at any point (assuming no employment contract overrides this), as long as they give sufficient notice or severance. In your case, they're offering two weeks notice, which is more than they're required to do (most likely, although you don't give a location, so I'm guessing here). So basically, you're probably out of luck in terms of asking/demanding any more. The promises they made about paying your bonus after your probationary period are moot, since you didn't make it past that. If you have some information that supports a different point of view, feel free to post them here and they can be discussed. But here's my links:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report- ... e33053530/
https://www.coxandpalmerlaw.com/en/home ... aryem.aspx
http://blog.firstreference.com/wp-conte ... ._3328.pdf

The second/third links includes discussion of a lawsuit that the employer lost after firing a probationary employee. But they lost not because they fired the employee without giving reasons or chances to improve, but because they didn't provide notice or severance.

As far as your next position goes, I'd be tempted to leave this one off the ol' resume, and take it as "time looking for new position". I don't usually advocate being "creative" with resumes, but in this case...

C
I generally like what you post, but this is not a complete answer. OP, did you sign an employment agreement? What’s the wording? What province are you in? Can you reasonably make the argument that you were induced to leave secure employment? Provincial employment standards legislation set the minimums. You may be entitled to more.

I’m glad to hear you are consulting a lawyer. Make sure he/she practices employment law and good luck.
[OP]
Newbie
Mar 3, 2017
14 posts
5 upvotes
craftsman wrote:
May 10th, 2018 1:37 pm
What part of 'unprofessional' and professional network don't you understand? Don't say that to anyone except for may be close personal friends who won't use that information against you. Professional networks are just that... professional. Putting something out there that sounds very unprofessional no matter how justified you think it is will just shoot yourself in the foot in that professional network.
Jesus christ, no need to be condescending. I asked for advice, not a lecture...
mountaintree wrote:
May 10th, 2018 2:08 pm
OP - agree with 95% of the posters above - you've received sound, comprehensive advice in this thread. Onwards and onward.
Agreed, which made me feel better and happy.
clseea wrote:
May 10th, 2018 5:26 pm
Were you head hunted for the new position?
Yes.
random pattern wrote:
May 10th, 2018 7:48 pm
I generally like what you post, but this is not a complete answer. OP, did you sign an employment agreement? What’s the wording? What province are you in? Can you reasonably make the argument that you were induced to leave secure employment? Provincial employment standards legislation set the minimums. You may be entitled to more.

I’m glad to hear you are consulting a lawyer. Make sure he/she practices employment law and good luck.

Yes I signed an employment agreement.
It did state a probationary period.
Rather not say what province I'm in.


That said, I feel good about consulting a lawyer. Doesn't hurt to get an opinion first. I have a slight feeling they'll say this is the best you're gonna do, but it's worth a shot.
Sr. Member
Aug 31, 2017
976 posts
242 upvotes
craftsman wrote:
May 10th, 2018 1:37 pm
What part of 'unprofessional' and professional network don't you understand? Don't say that to anyone except for may be close personal friends who won't use that information against you. Professional networks are just that... professional. Putting something out there that sounds very unprofessional no matter how justified you think it is will just shoot yourself in the foot in that professional network.
It doesn't matter if it's a professional network or not, people will still talk and gossip. Don't be delusional. Also, holding back may make it look like you are hiding something.

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