Help with toxic boss and exit from work situation during final work week

Hello and help! I need coaching and HR advice on navigating a current toxic boss and toxic work environment today before my final week of work! I accepted a wonderful new role at a great new company with good people, and gave notice at my current company, (one of 20+ global OpCos of a larger global org) this past week - to both my current toxic boss and her boss, the VP of HR. There has been no response or well-wishes from the VP, whom I have had interactions with. During this past week of work, I have encountered the typical harassment and bullying, including a "special meeting" where I was told by my boss what to say, and asked repeatedly if I would do so - and what specifically to during a one-hour global Team meeting and presentation - what to ask a guest speaker, a well know CEO and Co-founder, Forbes contributor and speaker, author/ This CEO that I had met and asked to be part of a brief interview during the global roll-out I conceived, led and directed for the last six months on Well-being and Empathy (WE) and which had included our entire leadership team for an entire week earlier in the year. I did this solo, all without the toxic boss' support and input in any way. I was also asked to complete some rather large assignments during this last week, such as starting and completing the entire annual department budget (no, the toxic boss doesn't do it) as well as leading some other, additional cross-functional team meetings.

This weekend, as I opened my corporate email to complete some of this work, I found that I was denied access/cut off from all files on my One Drive! I'm not sure why, as all employees are required to sign an NDA at hire - these are needed to complete work this final and last week of work at this job. I did expect to be suddenly 'cut off' - but not until my last day, which will be this Friday.

Do I write the HR VP, toxic boss, and Corporate HR to request restoration of One Drive access for one final week? Or try to manage without the files? Do I leave this alone? How do I phrase this to be successful with my exit, and yet CYA? There can be no file or record stating, "she did not complete her final work, specifically requested..." or anything similar. I'm sure you understand this goal and intent!!

Also, I have many questions for HR regarding my final pay, and when will this be received - does this include the two weeks of PTO that I have not taken any of? Does this also include the one week "held back" of my initial two weeks' pay that is standard practice and policy at this company? Will I be given access to payment history and paystubs as well as my 401 K account - before the end of this last week? Will mailing labels for laptop, printer, and monitor return be sent to me for equipment return? What else do I need to ask that I am not thinking of? Since the threats, lies and bullying has been extreme, but there is Diversity involved on the part of my boss' ethnicity - I have said little to nothing while working on my job search and interviewing as my exit strategy, and which has been extremely painful, working 60 - 80 hours to do my boss' work and then some, including the global WE rollout mentioned above, which I wrote all content and copy, directed the Leadership team and external partners through, and so much more. How can I capture and highlight some of these successes and wins - and post them on LinkedIn, in my resume, and elsewhere? What else do I need to ask HR? How can I think, message and stay one step ahead of them, plus the toxic boss?

Regarding the navigation throughout this last/final week, can someone be available for thought partnering/navigating/email and or call exchange going through the process with me to anticipate and stay on top of what may/may not happen?

After similar toxic treatment throughout the last year, I am in need of some additional thought partnership. I have declined/deleted my Exit Comment email and will not complete. (The toxic boss had already asked me my reason for leaving, no congratulations or best wishes; I declined to state 'why' or give my reason.)

I know I may or might also anticipate being terminated immediately, meaning my last day MAY be today, since this employment is at will, as many/most states and my offer letter clearly state. What else can I anticipate?

Some additional context on the toxic boss: she has not ever had management experience or managed a team, and it shows in every aspect of her work. For this global Corp. Communications role, she has a several-county wide, state-level background in a nonprofit corporate local spokesperson role, which has no application in this current org and role - global health care manufacturing and diagnostics/sciences. In addition, this OpCo has announced potential layoffs coming in Q3 - Q4 and severe cost-containment mode.

I deeply appreciate and invite your insights and advice asap today on how to best navigate this situation with success, stay one step ahead of the HR process, and manage the toxic boss, as well as basic compensation and HR answers and advice during my final week. I am beyond burnout and have been managing this while job searching and interviewing while working the 60 – 80 hours required of this role. I have encountered extra workload in retaliation to some limited asks for inclusion in review of recent work product - specifically, as a content producer, I have asked to be included in reviews of email campaigns as standard work and as we typically do, but from which I have been omitted from. There are other examples as well.

I understand this involves positive psychology and positioning, emotional intelligence, resilience-building, as well as the HR smarts and management navigation / corporate savvy, and I am seeking help and advisement with the positive framing as well as actual navigation right now. Thank you!

Please feel free to DM me and or send email, and thanks again! I’m available to initiate an exchange today to be ready for tomorrow and this final week – with success ahead!

You've got a lot going on here so I'll do my best to share some thoughts. Overall, keep all your interactions and anything in writing positive or neutral. Framing everything as being grateful for your time at the company and wanting to do what you can in this time to support the transition. I never expect when I am leaving for folks to reach out or send me well wishes. We are always leaving a hole behind and people handle that differently, even in the best of relationships. Here are some specific thoughts:1) On the access to complete the work. I suggest you write up a brief on the work they have asked you to complete during this that lays out how you plan to complete it and what access to the information you'll need to do so. Note that you found you don't have access to these files and ask if perhaps your access was terminated ahead of your last day in error. Your framing here is you want to ensure you are completing the work to provide a smooth transition of your responsibilities. I would include in that document link to any materials/projects you are completing (and make sure the right person has ownership of those files after you leave.) Offer that if restoration of that access isn't possible, you'd like to work with them on a plan to get those items completed. I would send that to your boss and VP of HR. 2) This sounds like you work in HR (since your boss's boss in the VP of HR). It is reasonable to ask if you will have an exit meeting to discuss logistics such as final paycheck, access to HRIS and how to rollover your 401k, etc. If there is no meeting, then ask how you'll get that information. Depending on how your PTO works, you are entitled to that pay if it is accrued time. I would also ask them about their reference policy and what they will say in the future if someone contacts as a as a reference.
Kikster's profile thumbnail
Hi Lyla59, Thank you SO much for your insights and response! I'm very grateful. I know the ask was lengthy, yet wanted to provide context and detail for an accurate understanding and efficient response....that being said, I have already had the work assignment talk with the toxic boss. The largest expectation is/was the budget, which was on the SharePoint site, and which I can no longer access whatsoever. I know that a last week statement of I cannot complete the work UNLESS...will come across poorly and be messaged or reported as such, so I plan NOT to include it or go there. I cannot LINK to any materials or documents or projects at all, since I cannot access or use the SharePoint site at all. However, what I CAN do is recreate everything in this limited time (their plan, of course) - and instead, as the only option that I can see, attach all items as documents, and bcc myself. - at personal email. Am I overlooking anything here? And should I expect to be shut out of email on the last day, or when? I will need that to operate for the next 5 days. Shall I ask about that - planned email shut off timing? - as well as the accrued PTO pay, 401 K account access, and if the SharePoint site was shut off in error? I like the positioning of "a potential error?" here - very good, thank you!I will also ask about their reference policy, since they are very policy and process driven, that is a good one!! Thanks again! I believe it illegal to give more that date of service and title, but nothing more. Not to say "more" doesn't happen, and often, of course - it does. So I will be extra happy and excited sounding and very positive - great reminder.You have been more helpful than you know! And yes, we report into HR, so this is actually HR driven, and unfortunately many know about it very well, and to the best of my knowledge, did not happen to the Director of HR, who also recently left.Is there anything else? I'm planning on initiating a MS teams meeting with the Corporate HR person I know (not a VP) but had been part of my hire and also recent meetings - collaboration meetings with me and other HR meetings, etc.Any other items I should or need to forward to my personal gmail? That might be needed or future reference by me?Again, they are protected by a strong NDA form which I signed as all new hires do. I have no malicious intent or plans at all. What I do need to do is prevent further stress and severe mistreatment - bullying, 100% contradictions, name-calling, overly burdensome assignments, last minute, same-day assignments, and shesaid/she said situations, and I don't know how to do avoid them, other than the above and below suggestion.When speaking with the HR person I referenced, I can ask her to be present for meetings or conversations with my boss, which will send a message, and also ask her to send the messages, not my boss. Again, my boss has been there 1.5 years, no experience with this at all - either with this company or before, and the translation from her has been far from accurate, and had a related inaccurate and wrong result, for which I suffered monetarily when annual review/assessment time came, course.Anything else I need to watch for or expect ahead? To stay ahead.Sincere and genuine thanks, once again!
MaggieRuvoldt's profile thumbnail
I would expect your email to be shut off end of business on your last day. Depending on the HRIS system, make sure they have a personal email address and that your mailing address is accurate. We give limited access to the HRIS through a personal email address to access last paystubs and W2s after departure. Check to make sure your access to your 401k portal will be active. I always rollover out of a company plan into an IRA. Very easy to do. If you are on benefits, ask who the contact is for COBRA and how they will get you election forms. If you miss a COBRA deadline, there is no way to get it back. That includes payments after you leave. Be mindful of what you send to your personal address. That can be considered taking company materials.
Kikster's profile thumbnail
Thanks, Maggie! And of course, you know I/we/the team reports into HR, so they are well aware of the process. My boss is not - she is only 1.5 years here and has never managed others, nor performed global communications - the title of our roles and team. Anyway, I did reach out to an HRBP - she said she relies on the coordinator to go ahead and send a final email with ALL the links. I was also informed that they shut off your email the day before, so if you have questions, well, you are out of luck!!! This is very scary and definitely not human-centric.....I am NOT asking for this all-encompassing email early, I am asking about the process itself and one very practical matter: return mailing labels for equipment, including laptop, printer, monitor, etc. They usually don't pay you until it's been returned, correct? So I am trying to be proactive here - but no one has the answer, that is obvious! By sheer coincidence, a Legal Counsel team woman from our parent company reached out to me on another matter, and I let her know my dilemma and lack of communication, or sharing of process. She is going to try to connect me to a parent company VP leader for this process. I pray!Coincidentally, I have been leading and directing our first-ever Well-being and Empathy (WE) Week (4 days with all the Leadership team, and our benefits vendors of the ComPsych execs, the Virgin Pulse execs, and the meQuilibirum execs) and the themes each day were What is Work-Life Balance Anyway? Reconnecting with our Team across the Organization; Staying Fit and Staying Healthy, and Resilience-building: Tear, Repair Grow - for our audience of all global associates in late March, with ongoing programs each month, including Healthy Mind & Body, plus the CEO of meQuilibrium spoke last week for our most recent hour-long program of Stress: A Way of Life or Fact of Life? and well, not only are other countries within our OpCo replicating it in their language, such as China and Marseilles, France, other OpCos / Operating Companies are coming to me to find out the program, action plan, and more! It's easy to see why the toxic boss has tried to sabotage this at every step. Only VPs have ever done anything even close to this. And it's not for me or my ego - it's all for our employes,, whom we call Associates. happy to connect more on this. I have to navigate the mess that is this week. Thanks for your insight, deeply appreciated!