Hi there and thank you in advance for your thoughts.

I have a situation I have never been in. I fought for a couple of years about large amount mold in my workplace that I am severely allergic to with asthma. I worked out of office for 2 years due to it and then they moved me to a small room on 3rd floor without ventilation or hvac vents even though they had a letter from my Dr. that I needed low humidity and ventilation.

I didn't even realize it until July when temps and humidity rose and I started getting chest pains again. They were so bad that I couldn't take but a few steps to them cutting my breath off to where I could not get air. My lung Dr. ordered stat ct scan and stayed with me until 8pm on a Friday and wrote me another letter to get out of there and even he said I want them to know how serious I am due to this being the 2nd time.

They let me work from home again until our end of year books were done and then said my lung Dr. had no reason to get me out of that room.

When the remodel of the place that I originally got sick from was completed, they had denied the mold problem so they could not show the mold problem that circulated for 2 yrs was fixed. So I requested 2 days and spent 900 on top of line air filter, as by then I was so sensitive and my reactions were severe. I had to get a scope of my lungs done. They refused to let me wait 2 days for the express shipping I paid 150 more for to get here.

Then they put in my termination letter that I was terminated for the time I had unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation when I got out of that room. The manager that put this in writing was not my direct manager and said she was unaware I had been granted unpaid leave but refused my appeal anyways. I have an attorney but nothing has been filed yet. I had a great relationship with my manager but she told me more than once it was out of her hands. She was very happy with my work.

I live in a rural area and have set of skills that are far and few between here. I was lucky enough for an HR manager to find me and tell me they were very interested in me. I should have looked for a job when they went to great lengths to deny the mold problem but I loved my job so much and knew that the jobs here are limited.

How could I explain this in an interview? I literally did everything that I could but risk my life and I even have lasting problems because I didn't walk away. I loved my job that much and lost my pension and everything so I don't feel not getting my damages would be something that I could just let go after what I have been through physically, mentally and financially. I am fighting for reinstatement but if I could be blessed enough to find a comparable job, I would not want to go back for many reasons as you can imagine.

I want to move on but worried how something I had no control over, including my body's reaction to mold, will prevent me from doing so. I'm not a trouble maker but afraid of being viewed as one due to standing up for myself and my rights as a very last resort.


  • You explain it to future interviewers just like you did here (only maybe try to shorten it up a bit and focus on the main points.) I think any reasonable interviewer would understand why you couldn't stay there... in fact, I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd want to go back. No job is worth this. – Steve-O Apr 20 '18 at 13:27
  • I dont want to lose my house is the only reason. I have no references now, nothing. They were horrible to me. It's our state university. But yeah if I can find other work, I dont want to go back. They hired a consultant and blamed the mold problem on eating food in the office but then I have emails the bldg has a history of repeated flooding. Just really horrible – Michelle2018 Apr 20 '18 at 15:45
  • you dont have to explain anything, just say something vague about looking for a better opportunity. – atxgis Apr 20 '18 at 20:06
  • Well I had a really good senior level accounting job. I am not sure if that would work...and references? I truly loved my job but I got to where I couldn't breathe hardly. – Michelle2018 Apr 20 '18 at 22:08