Skyland Trail / Employee Harassment/Unfair Termination
Skyland Trail was my employer for 9 months. During that time period I went above and beyond to fulfill my work obligations as per my Job Description. Regardless of my attempts to succeed in my position, my supervisor continually searched for negative things to comment on during our regularly scheduled meetings. Each time that my supervisor would give me "constructive criticism", I would immediately attempt to follow her recommendations, even to the point of working excessive overtime and on the weekends. On one occassion my personal integrity was questioned in that my supervisor basically called me a "liar" concerning a business trip that I had completed. I was given conflicting instructions and never knew exactly what was expected of me. I would be told to accomplish a certain goal, and then later told that the time that I utilized to complete that goal should have been used more constructively. Skyland Trail attempts to present a facade of "caring" about the health and well-being of their employees, but they are completely unsympathetic when employees suffer major family emergencys or severe illnesses. If an employee is sick, mulitiple documentation is required from physicians concerning the illness and then employees are not allowed to follow their physician's instructions. For example, I was given instructions by my physician to wear a certain type of shoe along with a supportive brace for a leg injury. My supervisor would not allow me to wear the shoe recommended by my physician, stating that it did not fall within Skyland Trail dress code policies. Therefore, I had to go against my physician's instructions and subsequently did not heal properly. Skyland Trail employees are expected to work over 40 hour work weeks, including nights and weekends and are not given equal comp or flex days. For example, if an employee works and entire weekend, he or she is given only one flex/comp day for the time worked. Employees are commended for working excess hours, working on weekends, and putting their work before their family and personal life. A proper balance of work and personal/family life is not encouraged. Skyland Trail is a non-profit organization which proclaims a mission help individual's suffering from mental illness, yet Skyland Trail clients are often laughed at and ridiculed in staff meetings. Jokes are made at the client's expense. The bottom line at Skyland Trail is filling all of the beds and keeping the census at 100%. It all comes down to money. Employee's mental health and wellness is not considered or considered a priority. Staff appear nervous, stressed, anxious, and apprehensive at meetings. I was terminated from my position at Skyland Trail only a few weeks after my Performance Evaluation. My Performance Evaluation contained a large amount of negative feedback, with very little positive reinforcement. I was criticized due to excessive absenteeism due to a serious illness, and a serious injury that occurred on the job. Even though I was recovering from a serious injury, in an attempt at improving my work performance as per the feedback I had received during my performance evaluation, I worked very hard, against my physician's advice and was still terminated without any reason or explanation. Everything that I was asked to do in my Performance Evaluation, I corrected and arrived at work 30 minutes prior to my scheduled work time. Worked several weekends and evenings. I feel that I was terminated for several reasons: 1. My supervisor puts work above everything else in her life. Because I attempted to maintain a healthy balance, she stated that I do not have a "proper work ethic". 2. I wrote comments in reference to the negative feedback that I received in my Performance Evaluation. I believe that these comments angered my supervisor, even though I was respectful and honest in my responses. 3. I suffered a case of Influenza and a serious ankle injury, within a short period of time. Even though I worked from home during this time period, accomplishing more that I would have accomplished had I been in the office, Skyland Trail's old fashioned and rigid culture holds that employee's should work 10-12 hour days, weekends, go above and beyond continuously, all in the name of making money. If I had a family member suffering from a mental illness, I would NEVER recommend Skyland Trail. Clients are numbers and dollar signs. When a client can no longer afford Skyland Trail services, he or she will be discharged, with little thought as to the client's progress or recovery. The stiff, rigid, old-fashioned work environment does not allow for creative thinking or thinking outside of the box. Employees are expected to perform and produce like robots and are constantly being put under more and more pressure to "produce". I have worked in the non-profit world for over 10 years and I have NEVER worked in a place in which I endured so much work related stress, work-place harassment, and inflexibility. Unless you want to dedicate your entire life to a job, have no family life, personal life, or hobbies, I would search for employment ANYWHERE else but at Skyland Trail.