Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarification
This is an unfortunate situation, are you a contract employee?
Do they know of your depression? Are you on medication?
Yes and yes
Are you able to control your disability with the medication?
Not really. I have been treated with almost all known anti-depressants with little effect. The best so far is Clonazepam, which lessens the anxiety
You should return to work, and have a doctor submit a letter stating you are fit to work,
if they terminate you, then you can apply for unemployment benefits,
in terms of legal action, you may have a Disability discrimination case, if you feel the reason for their actions is your disability,
If you file an EEOC complaint, you need to show that your depression is truly a disability under the law, and that the employer failed to provide any reasonable accommodations,
and used your disability as a reason for the termination
I have a doctor who knows I have been struggling. To say I am fit for work isn't entirely accurate. The disability insurance company has been denying my claims because of 'pre-existing condition' and/or 'doesn't fit their definition of disability'
mental disabilities such as depression are covered under the ADA, if the employee can demonstrate that the alleged disability substantially limits a major life activity such as learning, thinking, concentrating, interacting with others, caring for oneself, speaking, performing manual tasks or working in a broad range of jobs. Sleeping is also a major life activity. Chronic, episodic conditions may be protected under the ADA if the condition is substantially limiting when active, or has a high likelihood of recurrence in a substantially limiting form. Thus, even if a disability is not currently active, an employee who needs an accommodation to continue controlling symptoms may be covered by the ADA
They would say their reasons are NOT the depression but rather the poor performance
Do you have previous good evaluations from work, or performance reviews?
My first review was "Exceeds expectations", which is rarely given ( < 2% employees). A single unspectacular result on a project turned a superior against me and I have been having problems ever since (almost four years now)
I transferred to a different group but have still been depressed
That issue would have to be litigated, however, you can argue that they have only started treating you in such a way since your diagnosis,
In the short term, I don't know whether to file an EEOC complaint, or return to work against their instructions
or keep looking for work and forget it
You should do both, once you file an EEOC complaint, the employer is prohibited from taking any negative action against you, so that may save your job,
There is nothing wrong in filing a complaint, and the employer may try to settle with you as well, by offering you a good severance package,
Cool. I found the eeoc complaint page. I will do that. Thanks!
I'm thinking it might be good to find a local attorney to work with as well...?
Good luck, and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask.
I don't know how to determine which one is "the best" :-)
Yes, a local employment attorney would help as well. But at this point it may be premature, you can hire an attorney to send a letter to the employer stating you are returning to work, and are going to file an EEOC complaint if they continue there discrimination,
In terms of best, XXXXX XXXXX contact your local bar association, and look for an experienced attorney 10+ years experience,
Good luck, and if satisfied please provide us with positive feedback, thank you
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