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I was recently terminated from employment due to poor performance. About a year ago, my mother passed away, and the psychological trauma was extreme. I already suffer from clinical chronic depression, and this even took a toll on me.
For a six-month period, there were several instances where I missed work without notice. Admittedly, I could have communicated an out-of-office status, but my depression seemed to overwhelm me to a point where it was difficult to communicate. Upon a conversation with my manager, I communicated that I understood the need/requirement of communication, and I began seeking intense therapy (both alone and with group support) on Mondays. My employer made accommodations to this and allowed me to work only Tuesday-Thursday.
Two months ago, I was asked by my manager when Mondays were going to be available again, and I was told my team/colleagues were feeling a lack of cohesion with the team on my part. I told her I'm still working through this loss and therapy has been immensely helpful, but she pushed the cohesion issue again. I felt guilted/pressured into willfully terminating my Monday therapy.
A month ago, I accidentally only requested 2 days of PTO (in our PTO system) for a trip to celebrate my mother's passing. I communicated effectively with the team that I would be gone for three days, and they even marked it appropriately in our team-level capacity sheet.
I was confronted two weeks ago by my manager stating that I am not communicating well enough with my team, and that no one was aware of this extra day. To that end, I was given an ultimatum.
I was told I had to perform the following tasks every day:
- An end-of-day status, consisting of what I planned to accomplish today, what I actually accomplished, and plans for the next day
- Attendance to all scheduled meetings, unless I was sick.
- In our team chat software (Slack), I must "@here" anytime I was away from the keyboard, or send an e-mail to all team members. @here sends a notification to all team members' screens in case they have the software minimized.
Each of these things are not required by any other team member. While I don't mind guided direction to regain team cohesion, these requests--especially the "@here" portion, felt extremely degrading, especially if I just had to use the restroom. Furthermore, throughout these next two weeks, it also felt like a slap in the face when other team members would just send a non-notifying message if they were going to be away or offline.
Last week, I @here'd that I was feeling under the weather and would work remotely from home. That afternoon, I was feeling light-headed, and so I communicated that, accidentally without the "@here." I was terminated yesterday explicitly for this.
I am in an at-will employment state, so I do understand that employment can be terminated at any time, but I still feel concerned that my reason for termination was that I was not following rules that only I was given as an ultimatum for employment. If it matters, all my team members are of the same role/level as me.
Update: Part of my concern is that I was also encouraged to terminate therapy, even with knowledge that I am suffering from a medical condition exacerbated by recent events.