CA-I was fired for poor performance but this stemming from a personal falling out that I have documented pretty well..
I was fired recently from a company that I worked for for almost 3 and a half years as a customer service agent. I started as a office assistant and was from there promoted to customer service agent about 8 months later. I became very close friends with a co worker and who was the office manager. We had a falling out last may of '09 At the time of the personal conflict I tried to speak with her to resolve it from there she began working with the Head manager who she got very chummy with, to sabotage my career. before this point I had never had anything but good performance reviews.
They started writing me up for attendance (due to me taking time of to care for my son). I received a final warning for attendance in June of '09 which had false information in it so I took it to the HR department and this write up was removed due to "miscommunication on event in the office". From there I worked to make sure my attendance was in line but, they began righting me up in July for performance and would not give me written examples of these for several months and when I finally did receive them there was false information on there that they would not revoke such as not returning phone calls, and refusal to take directive from management which was the coworker who was not my supervisor asking me to do a task she normally completes. From this write up I again contacting HR along with the Head Manager via email and phone to discuss the write up and the false information and was denied my request to reverse the write up. And around this time I was then told by the HR rep that the co worker whom I had the falling out with would now become my boss who I would report to effective immediately.
From there I sent emails to several other People whom are higher up in the company expressing my concerns with management. I gave information to them of all the acts toward me and the hostile working environment. Finally in late Oct. a regional manager flew out to resolve my concerns. That didn't last long and about a week later I was written up again for failure to take directive from management in which they stated that my boss asked me to do something and I left 5 minutes early with out doing the task. I then went and found an email I had sent on this date which was sent past the time it was stated that I left the building and forwarded it to the HR Rep's supervisor to show that this was inaccurate and that I was told by my boss (former co worker) on this date that she would take care of the task and requested this write up be removed. They denied my request and stated I could only attach a statement of my side of the events that
lead to the write up to put in the personal file. I stated at this time that I was in fear of sabotage by these managers and the HR supervisor suggested I contact her boss. I didn't not due this because I did not want to rock the boat and cause for a quicker termination which seemed to be the trend.
Which leads me to the termination I received recently which it was only verbal stated that I was not completing a task in the a lotted time when this task is assigned to several people including myself had has been an issue I have come to management to resolve with no resolution.. . I was given a form for severance pay to mail back signed with in two weeks. but like on other posts I read I am worried that they are trying to avoid me collecting unemployment so I have not signed it.
All in all this was personal retaliation which I expressed over the course 8 months. I have saved all the emails!! To management as well as emails I have sent to the two bosses in which that this began with, to try to rectify the situation.
I called Unemployment in Nov. as well to explain the situation and find out what my options were cause I was fearing this would happen and the rep stated JUST DON'T QUIT because like I read the burden of proof is now on them.
So after this long story...
1) do you think I have enough evidence to win my case?
2) they verbal said the termination was for performance but, when looking at the form for general release it does not say the reason, it just says termination. Could they try to add other violations on?
and one more question, 3) I have never heard of severance pay when someone is terminated? I only have heard of that when someone is laid off?
I certainly think you have been doing the right things .. saving emails and going to HR with your complaints of retaliation based on personal differences. This is exactly the kind of stuff the EDD needs to know and see to make a decision .. what the initial decision will be .. I can't say, but if it's not favorable to you .. APPEAL.
Severances are given when someone is terminated, but you might want to make sure what they are asking you to give up, in order to get that severance. You will have to sign the separation agreement which might also include language that you know you are forfeiting your right to sue the employer for anything at all.
My guess, they want to get rid of you before you file a complaint with the state or the EEOC.
You also might want to talk to a lawyer about the possibility of negotiating that agreement .. such as removing the word termination and including mutually agreed or something like that, that removes the possibility of being denied benefits period.