I live in Michigan and worked at a privately owned BP gas station for approximately 8 months. During that time, they had fired a good number of people, two of which included immediate managers of the store.
Under the supervision of a manager that had been fired, I had been written up for customer complaint. The complaint filed I disagreed with as what was stated was NOT something I did and/or said. However, the manager at that time told me I HAD to sign the paper otherwise I would be fired on the spot. I did sign the filed complaint but had written my response on the back of it.
Months later, under a new manager, I was presented with yet another filed customer complaint from the same person who had complained before and with the same accusations, as well as one other accusation that I was ‘Too slow’ and ‘ignored there presence in the store’. With this filed complaint I was to be terminated. I told them that I would NOT sign it because I did NOT say or do the things that were written. I spoke with another general supervisor and they did agree that it was ‘fishy’ that this particular complaint was being made. They did say they would talk about it and check into things. I received no further communication with them and filed for Michigan Unemployment benefits.
What I’m concerned about is that since this is my word against a customers, will they automatically take the side of the employer and consider those accusations willful misconduct on my part or will they determined that since there is no real proof on either side that I am eligible for the benefits?
Here’s what I can tell you about “customer complaints” and why I really didn’t like these cases.
The employer’s testimony about the incident that was complained about .. is “hearsay”. Now it seems to me the first incident doesn’t even have the manager that wrote you up to testify about the write-up and that the second one is what can be your problem.
Despite the fact that you will contend that your interactions with the customer were not misconduct .. and trust me, I understand that “customers” have a certain power to influence employer’s actions .. my concern is that you didn’t sign the write-up.
It depends onn the state, and sometimes, just the form, but refusing to sign can be seen as “insubordination” if by signing the form you are not admitting the write-up has validity.
You can make the attempt to subpoena the back of the first write-up .. this is not something the employer would willingly admit into evidence unless it is deemed to help them in some way.
So, after all this .. I have to say, that I am not clear about what reason for discharge the employer provided to the state .. was it customer complaints .. or was it insubordination.
In your case, I can only hope that it was customer complaints.