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Does a PIP Mean You’re Fired?

Although Illinois is an employment “at-will” State, most employers would prefer to limit terminations to those for “cause.” There are a number of reasons for this preference. First and foremost, turnover is expensive. New employees require training that necessitates an investment of resources beyond the employee’s paycheck. And, terminations without “cause” increase an employer’s unemployment tax liability. As a result, many large employers use performance improvement plans (“PIPs”) to help an employee get back on track, to create “cause” for termination, or to manage out an unwanted employee.

Receiving a PIP does not guarantee that you will be fired. But, a PIP indicates trouble. How you respond to that trouble could mean the difference between a paycheck and unemployment.

Our office regularly assists executives in responding to a PIP. If the criticisms are valid, we work with you to obtain clear direction from your employer so that you can get back on track and maintain your position. If the criticisms are unclear, invalid, or misstated, we work with you to determine the underlying reason for the PIP and respond in a way that insulates you.