Worked as a web developer in a start up company for 4 years after I graduated. I was taken to a disciplinary for poor performance after the 4th year when things started to sour with management.
I am however concerned that this may affect future job opportunities from not being able to get a favourable reference from this place.
I have since worked in 4 others organisations since this role where other people have been extremely happy with my performance, so do not feel that this is reflective of my character at all.
I am doing extremely well right now (Corporate), and worried that I may in lose future job offers if a reference is asked from this place. I have already tried to negotate with the company for a neutral reference, but they are unwilling to negotiate and are vindictive.
If so, I am considering taking legal action if possible.
I read the official document that was used against me tonight and retrospectively it seems as though a lot was taken out of context:
- Not meeting time based hourly deadlines
These deadlines were aggressively set by another developer and largely subjective by not taking into account skill level and complexity.
Where it started to become apparent that they were set to build a case against me, instead of improving performance, missing any deadline due to unforeseen software engineering complexity was used against me in official documentation.
- Long term sickness
Before I joined the business, management knew I had health problems but still decided to hire me.
They then used this against me without mentioning this in the documentation.
They also did not take into account how difficult the recovery was, which impacted my performance and mental well-being.
- They acknowledged I met deadlines
It was acknowledged I met deadlines, yet management decided to skim over this as opposed to highlighting that I was acting in best faith to meet deadlines when realistically possible.
- Management ignore their flaws
I was asked to stop remote working and put on-site. I complained that the development environment was not set up properly and was taking me time to get going. Management ignored this as me making excuses.
- Management complained I wasn't doing enough work
When I was doing what I was asked by them, and was not being utilised properly by them.
In more professional environments Product Owners/Managers are responsible for making sure the team have work.
Management also made no effort to mitigate this situation by not having any structure in place - daily stand ups etc
Ultimately, management were trying to paint me as untrustworthy, unreliable, yet they were incompetent.
If it comes down to it can I take legal action? I am based in the UK.