What are best practices for navigating an employment situation that maybe is heading in the direction of filing a complaint with an EEO commission?
This question is for lawyers, employers, employees, whatever. It's in the US.
I am facing an increasingly difficult situation at my work that is leading to getting discipline points and maybe losing my job.
This situation is EEO related I think because of a refusal to grant accommodations for disability. There are lots of complications: the disability is a mental health thing, I work for the government, I'm a union member, my agency's lawyer already knows all about it, my union knows nothing, I don't have a lawyer of my own and I can't afford one.
The strategy of do whatever you can without the accommodations hasn't worked out. The result of that strategy has been me breaking rules (little ones, not on purpose, because of symptoms, my boss knows all of that) and now my boss is really pushing about the rules hard. But I have a few weeks, I think, before things get really bad. Maybe. Probably a month or two before I could lose my job completely.
So do I tell the union? What do I tell them? I don't think they understand anything about disability laws and I don't see anything about unions on the EEO website. If they have a hearing at my work there's going to be a human resources mediator there, but I think he only asks about the facts of the thing they're giving you points for, not for extra information. Do i bring up the accommodations request at that hearing? Should I talk to my agency's EEO person first? Is it bad to not warn my boss that I'm going to bring this up with the mediator? Should I tell the mediator in advance?
And how do you be professional in a situation where you might be suing and people are recording everything and nobody trusts anyone anymore? I want to be nice and I want to keep my job. I want to be able to have good recommendations. I am good at my job - except for little things on the edges. Please trust me that I am not doing anything illegal or dangerous or disrupting things. I've seen articles about court cases that talk about the rules I have trouble with and I'm pretty sure I have a good case if I do say something to the hearing guy. If saying something is the right thing to do.
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