A forced resignation vs. being fired

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2022 | Retaliation Termination And Forced Resignations |

An intolerable situation at work may present you with the unfortunate and difficult choice of being fired or being forced to resign. There are consequences to accepting resignation instead of being fired.

Resignation or termination

Forced resignations have consequences such as eligibility for unemployment compensation, benefits, recommendations, severance packages, your responses at future job interviews and explanations that potential employers may receive.

There are some matters that you should consider when making this decision. Do not give an immediate answer if you are asked to resign so you can make an informed decision.


There may be ways to keep a job with your employer. There is no harm in asking whether there are any other positions with the employer. Ask for a performance plan or probationary period if there were issues with your performance.

You may be able to negotiate the terms of your resignation if you are not being terminated for cause. The company may offer a severance package to expedite your departure. Other matters that may be negotiated include continued health insurance benefits for 30 to 90 days and financial assistance while you look for a new job.

Unemployment compensation

Resignation usually disqualifies you from receiving unemployment compensation benefits. Except in specific circumstances, you are usually eligible for these benefits if you are fired. If you were terminated because you were not qualified for the job, poor performance or because of company layoffs you may qualify you for unemployment compensation benefits.

As part of negotiations, you may seek the company’s agreement that it will not contest unemployment compensation if you resign.


Companies avoid providing poor refences to prospective employers. Information is typically limited to employment dates, job title and salary. Circumstances surrounding your departure are usually not provided.

Job interviews

Any reasons you provide for your termination to potential employers should not conflict with your former employer’s explanation. Be truthful, direct and focus on the future.

Legal rights

Speak to your human resources department on any rights if you are about to or already lost your job. It should provide information about any continued benefits.

There may be grounds for legal action if the termination or forced resignation is based upon discrimination, unfair treatment, or retaliation for being a whistleblower or filing a complaint with a government agency.

Attorneys can assist you with your negotiations or if you believe the job action is illegal. Lawyers can take legal action to pursue your rights.