Fired for hanging up the phone on customers.
(Being Fired and Unemployment Benefits)
I worked in a call center and was fired for hanging up on a customer before I said anything. No conversation took place and they said their was a customer on the phone and I hung up without speaking to them. Can I still get unemployment?
Response: Fired for hanging up the phone on customers.
Did you violate the "call avoidance" policy of the employer?
Call Avoidance always seemed to me (when I worked on behalf of employers) to be the policy I'd look out for if I were a customer service rep. The employer uses this policy all the time to terminate employment .. and to great effect because they often provide recordings and system logs as evidence.
I myself really was in essence, a customer service rep without rules about my behavior on the phone, but even when an employer was venting on me my goal was to resolve .. and if I couldn't do that .. I simply made sure my own butt was covered.
However, I was also completely aware that one of the policies I had to follow each and every time I dealt with a new client was that I had to be aware of and follow specific client procedures as well.
I'll get to the point now ..
I did this ALWAYS. Why? Because I'm the employee and they are the employer and they get to run the show as far as I'm concerned and as long as their expectations of me are reasonable.
Whether having to listen to a customer cussing, swearing, or using derogatory terms is reasonable is something open to interpretation.
In fact, it is the details of what happened that the reasonableness of the employer's action of firing someone, leaves room for interpreting reasonableness.
Breaking a policy you are aware of and know is cause for immediate termination without warning is .. basically unreasonable if you need that job.
So, claiming ignorance of the escalation policy is in my opinion, a bad defense because you making this excuse is something I tried to nail others on when preparing a case file to submit.
A choice not to make yourself aware of the employer's rules and policies is for me, like trying to cross a busy highway right after you left the bar.
It's unreasonable and just plain old bad judgment. They are the rules you play by at work after all.
When I saw that a former customer service rep was discharged for any type of procedural error, here's what I needed from the employer to support a discharge for misconduct.
The copy of rule that was violated and the employees signed acknowledgment that they received the rules and policies so they could claim they were unaware.
If they were unaware, their signature is what was used to indicate negligence and intentional disregard of the employer's rules.
And of course, first hand testimony from any employer witness needed to bring all the documents to life .. as they are proof only when given a voice through testimony.
However, if a person was fired for a one time violation of a rule which didn't include language that said a one time violation could be cause for termination .. you can bet I wasn't going to be the one to submit the progressive discipline policy which said you should have
been warned at least two times first.
Of course, the employer could usually count on the former employee not to submit what should have been a progression of warnings and written reprimands leading to you finally being told .. one more time and you're outta here
The basic premise used to fight back a denial of benefits is found in a definition of work misconduct
(call avoidance is just a specified act of misconduct among many good cause reasons for being fired).
What you have to prove when fired:On the other hand, mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed 'misconduct' within the meaning of the statute."
Additionally, anyone that apples for benefits should notice a state unemployment application asks questions to find out if you really knew how to avoid getting fired.
1. Were you made aware of the employer's rule?
2. Did you violate the rule?
3. Did you receive prior warnings?
4. Were you made aware your job was in jeopardy?
5. What was the final incident?
When you answer these questions honestly you are either doing so from your emotions which, in my opinion, often helps the employer fulfill their burden.
Most claimants are still feeling regretful they lost their job and are second guessing what they could have done differently.
But, the bottom line question about getting fired is .. was it through no fault of your own
There is no other reason to file for unemployment unless this is what you set out to prove to the state .. because that's who determines whether misconduct was committed or if you were fired for something other than misconduct
Will you focus on the concepts behind the unemployment law when you apply for unemployment?
Those question are loaded questions when you're feeling like you could have done something different. You're applying while you're still second guessing and trying to figure out what went wrong.
Choose your legal focus before you apply.
Many people that get fired immediately adopt that victim's attitude ..
That's the wrong attitude to have when you answer those question .. better you know why the questions are being asked.
The unemployment department first attempts to determine if you fit into the last part of the definition for misconduct .. or the first part .."The term 'misconduct' as used in (the disqualification provision) is limited to conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer's interest as is found in deliberate violations or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employee, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree or recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employee's duties and obligations to his employer.
The meaning of the statutes
is contained in unemployment precedent decisions.
PS You can always email me a link to your state's unemployment precedent decisions if you find it on your states unemployment website .. I'll add it to that page, but for now, just know that every single one I've found is most likely in a Q&A that I knew which state the person was dealing with.