Question: For the past 75 days, I have been on a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). On the 50th day, I asked for a review to date. My boss response: I had completed all 26 tasks on time, in “excellent” fashion, but that I had made one small mistake. The mistake was not even a mistake: it was that I did not tell her something was done, and there was no objective reason to tell her.
My boss called my not telling her “risky and reckless,” and negatively impacting “mission critical systems.” All untrue.
I’ve written to everyone in the company; no one listens. HR just delays. I asked a customer (an old friend of mine) to provide a recommendation; he does not want to get involved. I consulted a lawyer; he said there was nothing I can do. I have written a four-page letter on why I should not have been placed on the PIP in the first place, but it still needs some editing.
Can you offer help?
West Palm Beach, FL
Answer: First and foremost, you should complete the editing of your letter, and send it to both the CEO, and to each of the Board Members. Our Video Performance Improvement Plans – How to Respond provides an overview of what your letter should include. To view it [click here]. Also, reviewing our section on Performance Improvement Plans of our Resource Center may help, too. To do so, [click here].
We also offer a “model” memo to help you respond to a Performance Improvement Plan or Performance Review. To obtain a copy [click here].
Second, it seems you have gone to an attorney who is not experienced in these matters, not creative and adept at these matters, and/or not courageous enough to stand up for someone who has a tough battle on her hands. I suggest you ask around for an experienced employment attorney who is more of a real advocate. I believe that what your boss is doing is probably (a) false, (b) fraudulent, and (c) defamatory, and she could be held PERSONALLY liable in most states.
Finally, a personal note: Do all you do with the serenity of one who knows deep down that she is right, who accepts that “right” does not always succeed, and who understands that, while jobs and making a living are so very important, they are surely secondary to health, emotional well-being and self-respect.
Keep up the good fight. Don’t let the “bums” get you down.
Best, Al Sklover[pips]
© 2009 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.