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Impaired judgement from migraines a defense?

by Mary

I was fired for breaking reasonable employer rules when I spoke to a student reporter from the college campus newspaper. I was the manager for the campus bookstore and wasn't thinking of the college paper as "the media". This was a one time occurence, however speaking to the campus paper was allowed several years ago.

I was being treated for a recent affliction of migraine headaches. Should impaired judgement from migraines be used as my defense? Would it require a statement from my doctor or would summaries from my office visits be enough?

Three other (different) violations were found after my suspension. I feel my employer had to search for reasons to terminate me and the real reason was my "at maximum" salary after 21 years of employment with zero blemishes on my record.
The other violations were:
-having too many employees with advanced access to operating system software. I may have forgotten to reduce status for two employees who were given temporary access during the first couple of weeks of classes (allowed by the company).
-Violating the password policy by having employee access codes in a locked safe. I only kept the code to signing on to a computer as it would lock up after fifteen minutes of non-use and require an administrator (not the manager) to unlock. There was still another level of security codes (which I did not keep) that an employee would need in order to access a program.
-maintaining a "slush fund". We kept an honor system
piggy bank for employees to put in a quarter for the purchase of water. When the piggy filled, we'd use the money for more water. I was told by a previous boss that this was OK.
I may have shown poor judgement but none of my actions were willful or wanton. I thought I was acting in the best interests of the company and my employees.


Arguing against an employer's burden that work related misconduct was committed "multiple times" via poor judgement cause by migraines may end up sounding more like an excuse .. a justification and I would not personally go that way because there may be an implied acknowledgment you did know you shouldn't of done something.

I would personally find a good hearing rep to focus the argument for me, on whatever might be weakest about the employer's position that each incident leading to, and the final incident itself, was related to a known (written) employer rule .. and that your behavior, choice or act actually rose on each occasion to willful misconduct.

It's just not a good idea to approach misconduct from a position of making excuses, but to own your acts and argue why the final incident especially, is an isolated or understandable mistake made in good faith .. including the type made because a former manager had condoned certain behaviors.

But this is just what I think lacking any real details to examine .. such as the employer rules and the documentation (write-ups) for the incidents.

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