My company fires me and does not want to negotiate: the preconceived ideas

My company fires me and does not want to negotiate: the preconceived ideas

My company fires me and does not want to negotiate: the preconceived ideas

Let’s imagine this case: you have been working in the same company for several years and your track record is good, you have been hitting your targets consistently. One day, your boss or HR suddenly tells you that they let you go.

This comes as a chock to you as you didn’t see any warning signs so you can’t relate this to anything consistent.

You will at first, probably try to take a good measure of the situation although you might envisage some more or less dramatic perspectives but once the dust settles down you may consider various options.

Go to court? Accept? Negotiate?

At this stage it is essential to take a few days to think things through to avoid overreacting, knowing that negotiating with the initiator of your layoff is a far better approach even if this individual does not apparently want to talk to you.

However, beware of some preconceived ideas:

  • My boss does not want to negotiate, there’s nothing I can do;
  • I am sure to win in court;
  • My case is going to cost them dear!
  • I am already outside the company so negotiating is impossible.


Let’s overlook 2 of these aspects in the context of this article.

My boss does not want to negotiate, there’s nothing I can do

Upon a forced, company-initiated layoff, many make the mistake to let their employer know that they are ready to negotiate. Most of the time, the employer’s reaction is either:

  • He accepts to negotiate but on very narrow and restricted conditions;
  • He just refuses to negotiate

If you simply candidly come back to him stating your intentions right away it will put you instantly in a weak position as his refusal leads you to believe that only a dispute is possible.

You have just made a tactical mistake. To get your employer to come to the negotiating table you’ve got to show him his interest to do so.

Please understand that one of the negotiating tactics is precisely to refuse to negotiate. In other words, evenif your employer was ready to negotiate, he will most likely take a position that will make you believe that you’re not going to get anything from him.

In this case, you could even accept a low proposition and justify this decision to yourself and others by your employer’s refusal to talk. So, don’t take for granted and definitive the company’s initial posture, use it to work around it.

I am sure to win in court

Unfortunately, it is a reality that people get laid-off independently of the quality of their work or the meeting of their objectives but for political reasons (organization reshuffle, merger, profitability etc.).

At first, you could estimate their case empty and sure to win in court. May be. Nevertheless, what’s your first priority? To sue your employer in court and get into a potentially long and costly (in money, energy & mind terms) legal battle, or find yourself a job in the best financial possible conditions?

Well, the question bears the answer. A good negotiation lasts for 3 or 4 months tops, sometimes mess. If your employer wants to lay you off without a reason, rest assured he is aware if that but please don’t forget that a company is a living system made of men and women who just collaborate together. If an employer wants to get rid of you, it is not necessarily because he doesn’t like your face anymore or because he wants to punish you of something. The “why me?” question, since you’re a competent employee, is no object.

This, however, requires you to get out of an egocentric position (egocentric such as fetching the meaning of a situation to only you).


Negotiation and dialogue are always more effective than a dispute as long as it is avoidable. Sometimes, it is not but chose this path as a first option but you’re hurt by this kind of violence, is not the most productive way out of this situation.

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