26 Aug 2021

Is It Better to Quit or Be Fired?

is it better to quit or be fired - houston employment lawyer

Is it better to quit or be fired from your job? What benefits do you lose when you decide to resign? Do you still receive a severance package? 

When your time with your employer comes to an end, it’s common for questions and concerns to swim through your mind. Alternatively, some people face a situation in which their best option is to cut ties with an employer. In other cases, people are asked to resign or outright fired. 

If you believe your supervisor treats you unfairly, call an employment lawyer as soon as possible. With an experienced employment attorney on your side, you have an advocate to help you understand your options. 

Call the Craighead Law Firm today for a free, confidential consultation with our legal team. 

What’s Better: Termination or Resignation?

To answer the question of “is it better to quit or be fired,” it’s important to understand the factors at play. Ultimately, it depends on both the terms of termination as well as the unemployment benefits you receive. Critically, whether you resign or are terminated has a significant impact on any future lawsuit(s) as described below.

In some cases, employers offer employees the option to resign as an alternative to termination. Unfortunately, which option is better is not a simple question to parse out. 

When you resign from a job, you leave on your own terms. In certain cases, you have the option to negotiate for a severance package. If you have no other source of income, this is quite helpful as you search for a new opportunity. 

As you negotiate the terms of your resignation, you can vie for certain benefits, including an extension of your health insurance. Additionally, resignation means you don’t have to explain being fired to future employers. As such, you have the opportunity to frame the departure in a more positive light. 

But if you resign, you will unlikely qualify for unemployment benefits and it may prevent you from filing an employment-related lawsuit against the employer. The reason it may prevent you from filing a lawsuit is because a lawsuit requires an employee to suffer an “adverse employment action”. Adverse employment actions include things like wrongful termination, demotions, and pay decreases. If you quit, you may eliminate your ability to demonstrate that you suffered an adverse employment action thereby hurting your lawsuit’s chance of success.

However, termination has its benefits as well. The only way to receive unemployment benefits is to be fired from your job. When you choose to resign and don’t receive a severance package, it leaves you with no income. That puts you at a disadvantage as you search for a new job. 

Is it better to quit or be fired? When it comes to resignations and terminations, every company has different policies. Oftentimes, it’s an extremely difficult and delicate decision to make. 

Is It Better to Quit or Be Fired? The Pros & Cons of Quitting

When you want to know whether it’s better to quit or be fired, it’s important to recognize that both come with major consequences. How your exit a job or how a termination occurs ripples throughout your professional life. It impacts your reputation and future financial benefits.

PRO: Avoid Sudden Job Loss

One of the main advantages of quitting is that it gives you control over the narrative. Often, termination is far more emotionally fraught for employees than deciding to leave. 

Moreover, when you have a job you hate, quitting relieves a mental health burden and offers some peace of mind. 

CON: A Lack of Benefits

Is it better to quit or be fired from a job? One major consideration is your benefits. It’s important to calculate what you might receive both from severance and unemployment benefits. In some cases, getting fired means more money. 

When you work out your budget, it gives you an idea of how long you can manage before you find another job. Moreover, it’s important to consider whether it impacts your partner’s benefits. Does your insurance cover your family? Do you have a backup plan?

CON: Harder to Pursue Legal Action After Quitting

When you feel that you experience discrimination in the workplace, you might have a case. If you quit voluntarily, you have less of a claim for wrongful termination. In most cases, you forfeit these claims since there’s no termination.

However, a forced resignation due to harassment or discrimination leaves you with some options. While it is hard to prove at times, an employment attorney can help you build your case.  

Can Employers Terminate People After They Turn In Their Notice of Resignation?

Yes, employers have the option to terminate employees after a letter of resignation has been turned in. Moreover, it is entirely legal in Texas. Per Texas labor laws, employment is “at-will” unless you have a contract. 

This means that employers have the right to fire employees as they see fit, so long as it is not based on discrimination. Conversely, employees also have the right to quit whenever they deem it necessary. 

However, your employer cannot fire you for discriminatory reasons. If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated, it is crucial to consult an employment attorney.

Can an Employer Fire Me Right Before I Retire?

Yes, because Texas is an at-will employment state, a company can fire an employee right before they retire. Even when you give them notice that you plan to retire, they have the ability to terminate you at their leisure. 

However, when a company fires someone in order to prevent them from achieving retirement status, this act is against the law. In this case, the employer violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prove this in court. That’s why it is essential to maintain records and documentation that detail the events leading to your retirement. 

As you ponder the question, “is it better to quit or be fired,” you should never feel that your retirement is in danger. If you find yourself a potential victim of age discrimination, you have legal options. Schedule a free consultation with a wrongful termination lawyer to discuss your options. 

Is There a Difference Between Resignation & Quitting?

Essentially, there is no difference between these two terms. Generally speaking, people view a resignation as a more formal, professional version of quitting. When you have the option to leave on good terms with a company, resigning may be your best option. 

However, when you quit your job you may forfeit your right to bring a lawsuit against your employer. There is an exception to this rule called “constructive discharge”. Constructive discharge is when the working conditions are so intolerable that a reasonable employee would be forced to resign. This is a very high standard in Texas. Therefore, before quitting due to working conditions, consult a Texas employment lawyer. 

If you feel that an employer violated your rights, forcing you to resign, it’s important to find an advocate to protect your rights. When you hesitate to contact an attorney, it puts these rights in jeopardy. 

Oftentimes, you only have a short period of time to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). With an experienced attorney on your side, you have a better opportunity to gain the justice you deserve.  

Is It Better to Quit or Be Fired? Ultimately, It’s Your Call

Ideally, how you leave a job is a decision you weigh carefully. When given a choice between termination and resignation, pause and consider the benefits of both. Oftentimes, employees have a knee-jerk reaction to resign in order to save face. 

However, it’s important to think through your decision. When you consult an attorney, you have the opportunity to make a better business decision. No matter the scenario, it’s good to be proactive. 

Is it better to quit or be fired? Weigh the pros and cons of your situation. If you need help understanding your options and benefits, schedule a free, confidential legal consultation.