Can you get fired for hanging up on an irate customer?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2011

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Can you get fired for hanging up on an irate customer?

A customer called yelling. I apologized but after 7 min I hung up on them. Then I was fired. I didn’t argue with the customer I apologized several time but the customer didn’t want to hear anything and just yelled so I hung up. There are no process or procedures for this. Can I sue the company?

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you can get fired for this reason, any reason or no reason at all (with or without notice). As a general rule, an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace; this includes if or when to terminate an employee. So unless your discharge was prohibited by existing company policy, a union agreement, or an employment contract, your employer's action was perfectly permissibleunder the law. Additionally, your dismissal must bot have been due to some form of legally actionable discrimination (however you did not indicate this to be the case).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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