Background: I work at a tech-related job on salary, and have worked at this job for over a year now. I got this job because I busted my ass off in an entry-level position, and I continue to bust my ass off, staying overtime without extra pay (salary) almost every day, and I come in on Saturday as well when it's needed of me.
A week ago I made a judgement call under pressure from my boss on a project, to get it completed due to the looming deadline. I was told by my boss later that the PH was not happy with this, and that he wanted to work with me to improve the process for these projects. Three days ago on Friday, the PH calls me into a meeting, along with my boss.
They blindsided me with a "performance improvement plan" that they want me to sign (this is with no HR present in the meeting, mind you), developed by BOTH the PH and my boss.
For those who want to cut it short, the document basically accuses me of negligence and incompetence, and a signature on it is for admission of guilt. I'll be put in a "probationary" period of 30 days in which I need to be perfect 100% on my work in a "quality manner" or else I can be terminated.
I think that's bullshit. Longer explaination follows below, but feel free to skip to the end because it's mostly ranting with explanations for this document and its accusations:
This performance improvement plan that they want me to sign sounds more like a confession of guilt, because it accuses me of many things that I either haven't done or felt that I violated.
Communication - I agree that I have communication issues at times, because I find it hard to talk to the boss. Whenever a coworker asks a question, my boss apologizes for not making things clear. When I ask a question, my boss sighs and rolls their eyes like I'm an annoyance, and doesn't really give me the info I need to complete my tasks or tells me to find it myself. I feel like there's a double standard here just because I report directly to them. I'm also accused of talking to people outside of the company for advice, which I have never done. These accusations and my treatment makes it tough for me to communicate with the boss.
Attendance - I do arrive late often, but at most by 15-20 minutes, tops. It's a flexible hour job, though, and I ALWAYS stay very late so I more than make up for lost time. I'm accused of suffering the same traffic everyone else does...but everyone else takes a different freeway which is less crowded. On the very first workday of the year, I was immediately brought into the office by my boss, told to close the door, and was chastised for being late, and judged immediately with the statement that I have no excuse. That day, I woke up extra early and got ready extra early because I wanted to start the new year off right at work. I left home early...and I got there late. A tree fell on the freeway so traffic trickled onto the local streets which I took to circumvent this, and that local street had road construction that closed off all but one lane. I could not communicate this to my boss in the face of that accusation. I'm thinking that if my boss wants me to get in at 9am, I'll be out of the office at 6pm, sharp.
Work - I have been very careful with my work, only making few mistakes here and there, only because of changes in the process, late-at-night work and other similar cases. I do not consistently screw up, and my track record is pretty clean. I'm accused here of making judgement calls when I had no authority to do so, but that has only happened once due to a mistaken analysis of the situation.
Analysis - I'm expected to analyze and improve processes on everything related to a project...but I'm not a manager.
Proactivity - I have always sought out ways I can improve, ways I can help out with projects, and ways I can help out others in my company. One of the reasons I was promoted was because I was proactive. The accusation here is that I wait until the last minute to request certain materials. I have been keeping up with my projects, outside of one or two slip-ups due to oversight by multiple parties.
I'm expected to sign this and turn it in tomorrow. I'm wondering what my options are, because I love my job and I don't want to sign something that I might not have to, especially if it's worded in a way to accuse me of several things that I don't think I violated.
My current plan is to talk to HR early tomorrow and figure out things from there, but I'll eventually have to talk to my boss. Is there anything else in general I should say or push for? I'm worried about my rights as an employee here, and I certainly don't want to sign a confession of incompetence if I haven't been.