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thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive


Member

Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 4:50pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Right, well, some background.

Yesterday I wasn't in work as I was making a short film about mental illness with the BBC. I started a job two weeks ago- a temp job, and quite well paid.

I got a phone call from the agency telling me in no uncertain terms that I have been sacked. Return my badge and don't show up to work.

I find out that *they* had googled me and found my blog about manic depression.

The reasons they gave me for my dismissal:

1) I had breached the official secrets act by discussing my job on my blog. I did indeed mention my job- once. I gave no names, addresses, didn't mention my job title, where I worked, what I worked as. I mentioned a conversation I had with two colleagues, which was not work related. I also mentioned I had a job, i.e "I'm off to work".

2) And this is ludicrious. They said I copied and pasted confidential documents online. For one, I didn't have access to anything confidential. For two, even if I did, it wouldn't matter. I worked off-site on a laptop that had no network or internet connection. So unless I wrote it all by hand and scanned it, I have no idea where they're coming from.

And, of course, 3. They drew all conclusions from my blog. About Manic Depression. In Detail.

I should have not ever posted my real name up there but it felt unnatural to use a pseudonym. I've taken all mentions of my surname out but am still seething. I didn't do anything wrong. I was good at my job and really enjoyed it. I have the sinking feeling that they read my blog and found an excuse to get rid of me.

Now my agency wants nothing to do with me and I am stuck rentless AGAIN.

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panda


Member

Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 5:22pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
miss seaneen - that is awful. and i'm pretty sure its illegal. as im sure you know bipolar is classified as a disability so is protected under the disability discrimination act. (came in 2005 i think so some people still getting used to it...)
none of their reasons sound like anything much/real to me. i agree, it sounds like they've fired you because they found out about the bipolar. they might say, you should have declared it before. but its not a legal necessity to declare it. and if it doesn't have any bearing on your ability to do your job then they should mind their own business!
are you going to fight back? or just change your website and go to another agency. why the f**k were they looking up your name that's what i want to know. do they do that with everyone? its enough to make you paranoid.
anyway, hope you get it sorted and find a new agency/job soon. look after yourself. they are idiots!
Disability Rights Commission should be able to help. Plus am sure Mind would have some legal advice. Citiizens advice bureau?

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Fourth Feline


Member

Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 5:30pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Hi Seaneen,

I was sorry to read about your news. I think Panda has covered most of the ground here.

This certainly sounds like clear grounds for an Industrial Tribunal to investigate, as it would put the onus on your agency to provide hard evidence to them in an officially sanctioned 'neutral zone'.

I imagine that you can do without the added stress though. The large and allegedly reputable agency I once worked for proved quite un-supportive to me also - (although it was a non health issue, just your usual workplace abuse).

the trouble is that an agency is basically a pimp with better offices. The ethos is based on sales and not welfare in my experience.

If it was getting rid of the abused but hard working employee, or keeping the perceived goodwill of a 'player' in that particular contract - it was goodbye me ...

I did return to them some years later with greater success, but that was only because the client themselves offered me a full term contract.

I wish you luck and a sustainable morale with your quest..

By the way, nice to see you posting again Seaneen, it seems a while since I last read you here.

Regards,

F.F.

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Adam


Member

Posted Sat May 5th, 2007 7:29pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Technically you're right. Legally you're fucked.

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JVONEARTH


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 2:08pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Well it happens i'm afraid. I worked somewhere for 8 years and was bullshitted out of it.
If you can get into something where you are your own boss, Freelance or something. Believe me the amount of pressure this takes off you it is worth it.
But with a illness such as ours people still shy away from it.
I don't know if people with mental illness have the same rights as someone who is disabled in other ways?

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Adam


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 2:51pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Well it happens i'm afraid. I worked somewhere for 8 years and was bullshitted out of it.
If you can get into something where you are your own boss, Freelance or something. Believe me the amount of pressure this takes off you it is worth it.
But with a illness such as ours people still shy away from it.
I don't know if people with mental illness have the same rights as someone who is disabled in other ways?

Mental illness is covered by the same as as any other disability.

It's all immaterial. If you are asked then it's simple - LIE. You will not be afforded the protection and respect you are legally entitled to so look after number one.

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Nadia


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 2:53pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
OMG, this is so unfair! Awful...
I don't know what to say.. i'm So Sorry!

that's why i'm a freelancer now - while this kind of shit happens..

Unbelievable. So unfair..
If you can fight for your rights - oh.. I wish You luck
& be brave because You are right!

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Fourth Feline


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 2:59pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
.
I don't know if people with mental illness have the same rights as someone who is disabled in other ways?

Yes, in theory we do JV, but the effectiveness of that fact depends on how scrupulous or law abiding the employer is. Sometimes the employer cleverly displaces alleged blame away from the result of our illness onto other issues if they so wish.

I was advised and registered by my local branch of D.I.A.L and my previous employer as being 'Registered Disabled' due to Bi-Polar II.

Because I declared to a fair and law abiding employer my mental health history, I got better treatment by them and the benefits services when it caused me to have to give up my last job.

However, the employer before that saw some instability ( before I was properly diagnosed and treated ) - and found a way to attribute my dismissal to
" company restructuring".

If in doubt consult the local Disability Information Advice Line.

Sometimes however, it's just easier to move onto a better class of employer and get better welfare and rights across the board.

F.F.

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JVONEARTH


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 3:07pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Ah yes your former employer was the same as mine then!
I had to get out of the situation of having to be somewhere at a certain time etc.
Now i work for myself if i'm having a bad day i can swap my work around to suit me rather than having to be somewhere and feeling crap.

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Fourth Feline


Member

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 3:20pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
Ah yes your former employer was the same as mine then!
I had to get out of the situation of having to be somewhere at a certain time etc.
Now i work for myself if i'm having a bad day i can swap my work around to suit me rather than having to be somewhere and feeling crap.

I quite envy the self employed, ( in a nice way ) - as that seems to be the very niche that allows an interesting, constructive and financially self sustaining life whilst dealing with our limitations in a constructive way.

"More power to your elbow" as they say around these parts ...

F.F.

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ClareBear


Moderator

Posted Sun May 6th, 2007 6:05pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.

1) I had breached the official secrets act by discussing my job on my blog.

You had to sign the OSA?

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thesecretlifeofamanicdepressive


Member

Posted Mon May 7th, 2007 2:39pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.

1) I had breached the official secrets act by discussing my job on my blog.

You had to sign the OSA?

Yep. But in it, it was don't mention names, places, duties, etc etc etc, none of which I ever did. I didn't mention my job title, what I did, where I worked, what company I worked with, who I worked with, absolutely sod all. It all came down to, "Hello, I have a new job!" and that was that. I didn't even discuss my job with people in real life.

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meekychuppet


Member

Posted Mon May 7th, 2007 3:23pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
If you genuinely breached it you're lucky to escape prosecution, however it seems obvious you didn't and the act itself is so nebulous (deliberately so) that anything is grounds for a breach.

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ClareBear


Moderator

Posted Mon May 7th, 2007 3:53pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
I think you've got grounds to take it to a tribunal, if you can do it without breaching the OSA.

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meekychuppet


Member

Posted Mon May 7th, 2007 4:02pm Post subject: I think I have been sacked for being bipolar.
I think you've got grounds to take it to a tribunal, if you can do it without breaching the OSA.

It's an agency contract. She has no rights. Even if it wasn't she's been there less than twelve months and therefore again, she's got nothing.

Sorry lass. It sucks but you're screwed.

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