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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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).


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