My current company is “taking me off payroll” but instead of laying me off or firing me, are fully expecting me to take up an hourly contractor position for $30/hour with no specified time or guarantee of hours. How do I respectfully tell them no?

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I would start a conversation with you boss with, “Just so we’re on the same page, you’re terminating my employment contract? And I’ll need to sign a new contract agreement? What are the terms of my 1099 contract? How long will it be for? What is the pay? Do I get benefits?” I’ve been in this position before, DO NOT agree to anything, not in writing, no in email. Don’t even say “I understand”. Ask ALL the questions, do not assume anything. Get everything in writing.

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I’ve been very intentional and careful lately with how I’ve gone about communicating with them. Thankfully my past experiences prepared me that much.
Their unethical and dodgy behavior is why I want to deny becoming a contractor with them and sever ties. They continually say “we’re not burning bridges here”, but in my mind, it’s already done and they set the fire.
Wish me luck on this! I’ll be talking with my boss today to deny the contract

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seriously WTF?? that's horrible! Is that even legal?

I don't think it's legal to just change someone from FTE to contractor without official termination (because official termination means you can collect unemployment), otherwise more companies would pull that kind of unethical bs.

Is this only happening to you, or do you know if other people at your company are being put through this as well?

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It is not legal. Constructive dismissal.

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Sign nothing. Consult a lawyer. I don't think this is a legal way to avoid paying severance or downsizing.

Seriously, do not accept anything from them that would allow them to say that you willingly agreed to this. Demand whatever is entitled to you if they are laying you off, as opposed to firing you for cause

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Hell yeah. I'm glad it worked out for you... Well, at least to the extent that it did.

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The point you’re at I would suggest applying new places. Idk how much your salary is compared to 30/hr. Generally if the contract says 9-5 they pay the full week normally

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Oh, I have been applying for months, just no luck. They stated I was being taken off payroll at the end of the month and honestly am looking forward to the time away from them to work on my portfolio while collecting unemployment. But with this contractor thing looming over my head, I’m concerned that they’ll try to take advantage of me to keep me at their beck and call.
I would rather deny their contract and have a guaranteed income from unemployment plus my free time back.

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Ok well first of all idk how unemployment works for you. Unemployment is less than 30k from my understanding…you could make more working McDonald’s….atleast that’s how it worked when I got it during covid…and I think it was extra then too….(keep in mind I live in California)….idk if your unemployment is based off what u currently make? Not too familiar with all that….but I do know if you’re a contractor you can’t collect unemployment…….also is the company directly giving u a contract? Or are they using a third party to hire you and 3rd party name will be on your paychecks…..usually they use third parties for contractors and then there’s no benefits from the company and such. Will u have benefits still? Like health and all that or will u have to do it separate on your own expense…also If u have a current 401k see what happens to that try to get paid out….Make sure it doesn’t just go straight in the trash if u have money there. What it seems like is very scummy and they are trying to cut corners. I’m sure you’re very good at your job don’t take it personal companies suck. They want and need u. But don’t wanna pay you. Lol. Think of it this way….is your position/team day to day still the exact same? If so that means they DO need you. So if you leave they will need to hire someone else for the job. Which at this point they will contract. I suggest just finding a better company if you can….So they know they lost a good employee…but be prepared to be unemployed for a short period and also and applying..it’s ridiculous how company’s try to cut corners with contractors…when they lose money in reality….I’m currently a contractor for msft and get 45/hr..from my company…well msft is actually paying 60/hr if not more to my vendor company so the cost is more than if msft would just hire me directly….all bc of benefits?…it’s strange how they think….I will never understand it…but I do suggest speaking with your boss and kind of being a douche. Tell him listen I know you need me and you’re gonna need to find someone if I leave. I’m looking for a place to grow not shrink….however keep in mind if you DO like your current company and u are contacted. That means you are still around….u can still apply for other roles in the company…it’s like politics kinda it’s crappy but there’s trade offs for whatever u do. You gotta see what’s most important for YOU. Is it 30/hr? Is it the name of where u work currently? Is it the benefits? Is it the culture? See what matters for you and go off that. But I have a feeling you won’t regret leaving. Keep in mind, a lot of companies have a freezing on hiring rn. So it will be hard to find a job the rest of 2022 and start of 2023….if the contract is short, I say take the contract and still apply and worst case put in your 2 weeks. And walk away once u find a role. Unless unemployment is more than what u make. There’s a lot of ifs for this case. Either way I wish you the best of luck. Just know this. You’re not the only person in the world that this has happened to. It is a bit rare. But do some research see what others did. Good luck my friend

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I know Bluehawk might be hiring for UX position, they work with Microsoft and other bigger companies

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Thanks for all your insights! I also live in California and pay extra into unemployment currently so it’ll be more than typical, but still less than a full-time job anywhere. Which is fine for me as long as I’m able to pay my few bills (thankfully I have a great partner with a great job at a place he loves so he’s able to take on rent and such). Really the biggest benefit would be also the amount of free-time I would have to work on my portfolio as I have 4 or 5 case studies I can create, but need more time in the day to focus on that.
I don’t receive any benefits from the company including 401k so I’m not concerned about that at all.
They certainly think that they need me, but from what I can tell, they don’t know how to properly utilize UX so I think they’ll be fine without me. I think I’ve made up my mind about leaving and just wishing for the best. Thank you!

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From my understanding there is good money in UX. You will be able to find the right job soon. Don’t worry just don’t give up. Certain things take patience and timing. You’re in the time period right now. Don’t expect it and often times a gold role will fall into your lap. Just don’t give up. I’ve heard ppl applying for 1 year straight and then they finally get the role they want. All I know is most good tech companies and even other companies do need some sort of UX. Enjoy your time off. But stay proactive. You will find an even better role don’t worry. You will look back on them offering u a contract and will laugh one day. Believe me. Have a great day, keep up the good work!

uplifting

Unemployment takes forever to get btw apply asap.

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Usually there’s a lag, but they back pay whenever ur laid off or unemployed so if u apply and don’t hear back for 3 months they still pay the 3 months at once.

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UPDATE: I received the new contract and it’s full of red flags unfortunately. It’s backdated to the beginning of the month which I assume could mean they could consider me a contractor from that point and refute my hours/salary.
They can guarantee no minimum hours which means no guarantee of income. Maybe I’ll get money that month, maybe not.
There’s also a non-compete stating I can not accept other contracts that could compete with the company meaning I may not be able to work additional contracts for more money.
To top it off, the contract is valid for 4 years, but they can cancel my contract with 3 days notice.

They did confirm in writing finally that my employment contract is terminated at the end of the month so even if I refuse this new agreement, I can still receive unemployment.

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I did not. Today is my last day and I won’t be returning :) my work to find a new job becomes full time starting tomorrow

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Start applying to new jobs quickly

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Advertise yourself of UpWork!! Then manage your time as needed. My company hires from UpWork all the time.

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