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tardiness due to sleeping disorder

by John
(Philadelphia, Pa)

My father died suddenly in July 08. And about 4 or 5 months later I started having "issues". I started gradually waking up during the night and eventually not going to bed until 1, 2 then 3 a.m.. When it first started happening I informed my sup and manager (who sits right next to me) and was told "no problem". Also, I started having panic attacks and sudden episodes where I would just start crying. I informed my employer about it (including my VP) and was told not to worry or blown off. My VP even recommended that I try to drink some beers before bed when I tried to talk to her about it. It wasn't an issue until June when I had my review (which was good!) I was given a doc to sign which stated something about my prior tardiness after my good review. I signed it but stated that I disagreed w/ it. I again informed my Manager and Sup that my depression and insomnia was worse. I was then reassured it was just a warning, just "hr bs" and not to worry. It then got worse where I was late 5, 10 and 15 min almost every day. From June to day I was fired I had ups and downs. I tried some over the counter sleeping aides. In November I remember thinking my 4th Childs birth (late November) would help it. I had suffered from depression before (5 years earlier) and I new it was happening again but this time I was unable to go to bed and not sleeping all the time. I was reluctant to go to the doctors office due to embarrassment, afraid of medication and the fact that I just tried to "work it out" since I was told by my Sup, Manager and even my VP that it wasn't a concern. I did just mention it to my doctor during a checkup and he gave me ideas to get to bed like no caffiene

after 11 am, laying down early (like 9pm) and try reading. A few months went by and know one told or asked me about my lateness's (as usual). I again told my Manager, Supervisor and Vice President on seperate occassions during free time, of my problem, and that I was still having issues and I was again, ignored, blown off or not taken serious by management. In the 5 years w/ the company I was not asked once for a doctors note, and was never reprimanded (when given doc to sign in June I was told it was just a warning and not to worry). And then out of nowhere, on January 11 I was told to go to a room where I was told I was fired. I asked why and was never given a reason. It was wierd, they were silent like they were waiting for me to "let it out" or like someone told them not to talk. I asked if it was due to my sleeping disorder/problem and my Manager told the HR person that I never gave him any documentation about it. I reminded them of at least 5 times I mentioned it to them and was then told it doesn't matter at this point. PA Unemployment is now telling me I cannot collect unemployment. What can I do? I can't even afford a doctors visit to get re-diagnosed. Not sure what my rights are. Can I plead ignorant? I had a Child in late November and bought a car 3 weeks prior to being terminated. I had no Idea it was coming. I have 4 kids, a car payment and a mortgage, If I had known my job was at stake I would of done this before hand, in regards to getting diagnosed and even looking for a new job!

Hi John,

Leaving out the good stuff aren't you? What does the attendance policy say you can expect from the employer before worrying about being fired for tardiness?

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