What to do if you receive a Performance Improvement Plan?

Jan 27 2021

A performance improvement plan, commonly referred to as a PIP, is a tool employers use to give employees with performance deficiencies the opportunity to correct them. Unfortunately, though, some employers also use PIPs to perpetuate illegal employment actions. How do you tell the difference? Is your employer genuinely trying to help you? Or is a termination just around the corner?

Here are some good rules of thumb:

  • 1. Take a deep breath. These are incredibly stressful times, but stress causes us to not think rationally.
  • 2. Read the performance improvement plan. Make a copy and mark it up. What do you agree with? What did your manager get wrong? In Connecticut, a PIP becomes part of your personnel file. You have the right to rebut the PIP, or any other discipline, and ask that your rebuttal be placed in your personnel file.
  • 3. Do your job, and do it well. Your performance is suddenly being viewed under a microscope. Now is the time to perform, work hard, and do your best not to make any mistakes.
  • 4. Think. Ask yourself some questions about the last six months or so at work. Is anything out of the ordinary? What changed? Did you take a medical leave? Get hurt on the job? Have a baby? Do you have a new boss? These questions will help determine whether the PIP is intended to help you succeed or whether you should be questioning what motivated it.
  • 5. Don’t be afraid to sign it. Your signature on the PIP does not mean you agree with its contents. It simply means you are confirming you received it. To make you feel more comfortable, you can write, “My signature acknowledges receipt only.”
  • 6. Give us a call. Information is power. We are here to answer your questions and, if appropriate, work with you through this difficult time.

Share this Post

Amanda DeMatteis

About the Author

Amanda DeMatteis

You deserve justice. We are here to fight for you.

Best Lawyers

Let Us Review Your Case

    We will respond to your message promptly. Although we will keep your message strictly confidential, please note that contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

    Client Experiences

    During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

    You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

    Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

    I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

    Proven Results & Personalized Attention When You Need It Most

    American Law Institute Super Lawyers American College of Trial Lawyers Best Lawyers The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
    Back to Top
    (203) 815-1716