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Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for following company policy (Fired for one customer complaint)

by Baldemar

I work for a Urban Floor and I deliver hard wood floor in boxes. I was making a delivery to a new company carrying 61 boxes. I checked in with the company as I was on my way there, to make sure there would be someone there to receive the material because it was to be left outside the warehouse. After I spoke to the warehouse manager/owner, he was very angry and said he wanted his material left inside his warehouse, I calmly explained our policy. The company policy is to deliver the material and unload outside the home,company etc. The reason being because Urban Floor is liable for any damage done to material when taken inside a home or business and does not have insurance for that damage. Or so I am told that. I am specifically instructed not to carry material inside a home or business. Material is to be left outside home or business. He was more upset because I told him the company policy. I spoke to my warehouse supervisor Dan and he told me not to take material inside. I was instructed to leave material outside. During the time of calling the company I was making delivery to and calling my supervisor I arrived at my destination. I spoke with the owner and told him my supervisor said to leave the boxes outside warehouse. He was upset and said he didn't want the material or the company business. I notified my supervisor of this incident. So I went on with the rest of my day making my other deliveries. The owner had called my company and spoke to my manager. My manager called me on my work phone and told me the owner of the other company called and said he was upset at our policy and that he was going to report us to the bureau and complain and report our company and he also said I was rude and lied about everything I said. The owner of Urban Floor said to fire me because this man made a big deal and threatened the company and because I should have accommodated the customer and because this was a big order and a loss to his company. I explained to her what had happened and that at no such moment was I rude or told the customer anything to get upset, and that I followed procedure and checked with my supervisor first before making any kind of decision. She said it didn't matter that was the owners decision she tried to talk him out of it, but because the customer said I was rude and made a big deal and didn't listen to him he took customers side. I kept digging and kept asking her if there could be any other probable cause for me getting layed off. She said crying to me that he has been wanting to hire another driver with lesser pay for a while and that she has been trying to keep me as long as she could. I have never given Urban Floor a reason to let me go. I have no write ups or complaints from any customers. Not one at all. So me being layed off was unjust and without a cause.The employer wrote that I was fired due to wrongful doing to the public.

Hi Baldemar,

You were fired, not laid off. Do not tell the the state you were laid off .. you will cause yourself problems.

You were an at will employee. Employers can fire at will employees for anything they want without repercussions except for unemployment unless they are doing it for an illegal reason and they can get away with that also if we can't prove their actions were illegal.

Unemployment is the answer for most people who have been fired. The firing must be for an illegal reason to sue an employer for wrongful termination.

So yes, file for unemployment and tell the state exactly what you have said here. You were fired because you followed the employer's policy and when you asked for direction from your supervisor about how to handle the difficult customer you did as you were instructed.

It is difficult for an employer to "sustain" their burden that a customer complaint is misconduct.

Although it is often necessary for the claimant to appeal a denial .. the employer's burden is difficult to sustain because they generally don't have a witness at the hearing with "direct knowledge" of what happened. Your testimony is direct .. but the owner wasn't there .. so his testimony is hearsay. Direct knowledge trumps hearsay .. it simply carries more weight.

Since your employer does not have any disciplines on record for this type of thing or anything else for that matter .. you should ultimately be the one to prevail.

In addition, you have the supervisors admission that the employer wanted to get rid of you so they could hire a driver at less pay.

An employer has a better chance of proving customer complaints rise to misconduct .. when they are able to show habitual problems in this area ..

Comments for Can I collect unemployment if I have been fired for following company policy (Fired for one customer complaint)

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Aug 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

I know how you feel I was fired Friday after a customer said I was rude to her I had someone sitting beside me and heard what was said and I was in no way rude to this customer however my boss didn't believe me so he fired me and that really sucks.

You see the customer always has the upper hand and companies will more than not fire you because them your a liar anyway. And that's sad for all workers.

Yes, customers do have the upper hand. I think this is ironic because many employers are now firing people because of social networking .. namely Facebook. They are arguing against unemployment benefits based on their thought that your FB page is somehow causing harm to their financial interest or brand.

But has it not occurred to those making this type of argument that once they fire an employee the potential for any harm becomes even greater because they have no control .. should the individual decide to get even?

One little caveat though is many potential employers won't hire you if they find out you're willing to bad mouth any former employer.

I think it's important for anyone still stuck in that "at will employee rut" to pay attention and edit what they do online .. even if they think it's their personal space ..

And one customer complaint .. is not enough to support a discharge with good cause .. generally speaking of course.

What their burden lacks most of the time is "direct testimony" from the customer.

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