I have a long history of major depressive disorder. I've been under a psychiatrist's care and we have determined a Family Medical Leave Absence is necessary immediately.
I work for a smallish company (75+ employees) with no secrets, so I fully expect the reason for my leave will become common knowledge. The greatest factor contributing to my current medical status is the stress I have been trying to cope with at work. I'm an internal federal auditor and it's been made abundantly clear to me my findings are to be documented, but I have no authority to mandate changes. Over the past year I've repeatedly initiated conversations with BOTH HR and my supervisor regarding the processes and attitudes in place which prohibit me from being successful in this position. This has resulted in a challenging working relationship with my supervisor and I fully expect my employer to begin to take steps to terminate me for poor performance when they are notified of my FMLA status tomorrow. I'm also fully aware this fight will come down to "he said/she said" due to an absurdly open-ended and vague job description my supervisor wrote (which wasn't documented until 10 months after my hire and contains no measurable performance metrics).
My question is this: I'm in no condition to put up a fight right now, yet I can't afford (financially or emotionally) to just roll over and let this happen. I know I'll eventually have to retain an attorney; however, I'd like to hold off on that as long as possible for financial reasons.
What steps can I take now to protect my own interests and not inadvertently damage my case down the line?