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Hostile Work Environment Georgia

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  • Hostile Work Environment Georgia

    My daughter was terminated from her employment as an acct executive with a national copier corp. She is based in Georgia. The termination stated “involuntary inability to perform duties”.

    She was divorced about 2 years ago and lived with us until last August. She moved into an apt. and was completely alone for the first time since the separation. She became severely depressed, began seeing a therapist and was given medication. In Sept, she developed an ovarian cyst that ruptured. It took some time to find the cause of the excruciating pain and, even after discovering the source, there was nothing that could be done about it. She simply had to suffer through it until her body removed the fluid. For about two months she barely stand up straight half the time. She was given pain meds but took as little as possible as they offered very little relief anyway. There just is no relief from that pain apparently. The pain caused her BP to spike over 200 many times and was she was rushed to ER on several occasions. She is now on BP med. Her heart rate is now too fast and her heart works too hard. There is no explanation except stress but meds are bringing it under control.

    During this time, she did not miss any time for which she did not have sick leave. Her newly appointed manager and former co-worker/friend was very aware of the issues as was the regional manager. The three of them had one casual conversation about it in Oct with the result being to let HR know if she needed more time off. That hardly gives one reason to think of being in any jeopardy but the manager would later call this a warning. Her work did suffer during the 2-3 months required to bring this all under control. Her numbers fell dramatically and she obviously wasn’t in the field as much. She offered time and again to provide documentation from her doctors if necessary but was told it certainly wasn’t needed.

    Her former manager always held her up as a “shining example” to new employees because she did her job very well. Apparently the new manager/former friend did feel so kindly for some yet unknown reason. Other than to prove her new authority by mistreating the person she was formerly closest to in the office, she had no reason to target my daughter. She created an extremely hostile work environment that tripled my daughter’s stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure problems. Long before she was fired, her doctor indicated she had grounds to file suit for a hostile work environment.

    A couple of days before Thanksgiving she gave my daughter a rather ambiguous letter that gave no specific goals or deadlines but stated “they” would like to see some improvement. The manager then told her verbally she must sell $60,000 by the end of the year to save her job. She was practically hysterical. Her territory consists of very small towns and that would be a fantastic goal for two normal months in a good economy. The economy tanked and they demanded she produce $60K in the 3 weeks before Christmas. It was virtually impossible and she was defeated. Up went the BP, the heart rate, etc. She’s no quitter and somehow she pulled it off.

    Once she thought her job was safe, she voiced some concerns to HR about her manager’s refusal to help her with deals and attempts to sabotage her among other things, i.e erasing her voice mail (seen and heard by another employee) and sneaking into her gated community to spy on her. She came back and announced that one! HR encouraged her to go to her regional manager because he needed to handle it. We do not live in a large city so we know him well and found that laughable. Let’s just say we believe we know why this particular woman was the only one considered for the managerial position and that his new wife is one of his former managers. As expected he did nothing. Or did he? I suspect he knew about her shenanigans and schemes and decided my daughter had to go regardless because she had “talked”.

    He informed her that must meet 75% of her ANNUAL quota by the end of the 1st qtr to keep her job. She was well on her way to doing so and it was only mid way through the qtr. Things seemed back to normal to her so she decided to let everything go. Against all advice, she did not follow through with HR. The manager became her old, chummy self again. She took my daughter out to lunch one day and asked her several personal questions about her health and medications. My gullible daughter thought nothing of discussing it with an old friend. Two weeks later she was fired.

    She was on her way to pick up yet another signed contract in early Feb when she was called back to the office – before finishing the deal. That contract would have put over the mark to earn every single bonus the company offers. Out of the blue she was terminated – and not allowed to pick up the contract. She was denied about $8,000.

    Reps that are terminated are not paid pending commission. Oddly enough, that goes to the manager. As will all her accts unless she chooses to assign them to another rep. They did agree to pay her for the last two accts she had completely wrapped up. However when the checks came, they were far less than they should have been. The reps have the option to write the deal in such a way that allows them to earn an extra 2% but that reduces the manager’s GP. My daughter never wrote a deal any other way nor did any other rep, including the manager. It would be foolish to do so. Yet the manager tells she did not write it that way and therefore will not be paid. Since they seized her laptop and refuse to let her see the paper file, she cannot prove the numbers were changed. The manager kept the accts my daughter had told her were ready to close, including the “feather in my daughter’s cap”, a national chain she had been working for well over a year. Thankfully, they refused to sign with the manager. There is some justice in this world!

    That is a very long-winded explanation to ask a rather simple question. I believe she was fired because the manager was able to find out she was seeing a therapist and taking certain medications. Depression is a mental illness. Is that discrimination? Does she have any recourse?

  • #2
    Was FMLA ever addressed? Very long post, btw, although we do appreciate the paragraphs; I have to admit I didn't read it all.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      In the last 12 months, EXACTLY how much time did she miss for all medical reasons? I'm not talking about unexcused time, I mean the total, with and without sick pay, with and without doctor's notes, with and without anything?

      Please be aware that under no circumstances, regardless of medical condition, is the employer required to accept sub-standard performance.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Sorry for the lengthy post! No, FMLA was never addressed. She might have missed 10 days all year, including flu, etc. earlier in the year. Her doctor is more than willing to provide necessary documentation for diagnosis of severe depression as it relates to FMLA.

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