Recently I had the chance to discuss a bit in more detail with a colleague who was laid off about a year ago and what she told me was very disturbing. We were both working in TK's org, but in different teams.
A few months before her layoff, her team had just had a new manager appointed, an Indian VP lady, but who was based in the US.
She told me that as soon as this lady arrived, she started "evaluating" many members of that team, based on criteria that had nothing to do with performance.
She said that right before this new VP came, in her team the workload was so high that many people got sick, herself included. She came down with a nasty case of depression which she was able to get over with the help of the EAP, several months before this new VP came along.
When she had her first 1-1 with this new person, she was shocked to hear the VP telling her that she knew that she used the EAP to fight off her depression and that her team is no place for people who are "emotionally and mentally unstable". She went as far as to call my friend a "certified nutcase" who didn't belong in that team and that she should leave.
A couple of days after this phone conversation, my friend was laid off. I asked her if she went to HR with this, as accessing someone's medical records is highly illegal as far as I know.
She said she went to HR and they told her there was nothing they could do, as she had no evidence against her VP.
There was no written record of the discussion, nor a recording of the said phone call.
Now, my question is, has anyone else heard of similar happenings and if so, are there any ways to fight such a power abusive behavior when there is no palpable evidence left behind?