What are my rights if I was verbally assaulted by a customer at my store and received no help from my co-workers when I called for assistance?

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 12, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights if I was verbally assaulted by a customer at my store and received no help from my co-workers when I called for assistance?

The customer brought me to a point of frustration and I had an outburst where I cursed out loud. I did not curse at the customer or say anything inappropriate to them. The customer called the corporate office and had me fired. I have experienced a lot of emotional distress from the incident including depression and increased anxiety. Is there any way that I can press charges against this customer?

Asked on June 12, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, you can neither press charges nor sue the customer. Quite simply, the law does not protect our feelings, or protect us from being yelled out, made fun of, etc. by other people, including customers. This person had a legal right to be rude, abusive, etc. to you. Your co-workers were under no obligation to help you. And your employer is free to fire you for your outburst unless you had an employment contract guarantying or protecting your employment, since without a contract, you would be an "employee at will"--that is, you could be fired at any time, for any reason, even unfair ones. (Though consider: rude customers are, unfortunately, a fact of business; employees need to be able to not get upset by them.)

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption