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Aat0116

Terminated after Customer Threw items at me and I asked him to not be a jerk...

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I was recently let go from a building supply chain store in NE Ohio. I worked only a few months there as a returns clerk,cashier, and often various other positions when we needed someone to fill them per shift. I had excellent reviews by my my upper Management routine evaluations done and the customers as well.  I liked my job. It was rough some shifts, understaffed and newly open to the area, it had it kinks still, but i was happy. On Easter this year I would be closing up the store and home in a an hour or so. Before I got to the end of my shift, a customer came thru the door with a cell phone held to his ear,  i said hi how can i help you as he approached the counter with a bag in his other hand. He said nothing and   plopped ahis bag onto the counter, still holding his phone to his ear, i repeated to him"hi how can i help you", he said how do you think you can help me- and slung his bag across the counter in my direction. There was a box of deck screws inside that came burstin out of the bag as it flew across towards my side of the counter, screws went down shirt, in my hair, the went everywhere, one even scratched my chest slightly. I was shocked, as I said to him"your being really unkind to me sir, please stop acting like jerk i have a manager on their way, i was trying not to cry - i wanted to cry so deeply- he said what did you call me- i replied I said your acting like a jerk, he was though...i couldn't believe he threw something like he did and then acted like i was the blame. I stepped away from the area facing him and hit my radio for a manager or security to come and he began verbally ranting call the fbi call the police- she called me names. I wasnt sure if this was really happening still,seriously I was stunned. Another employee came by and asked if he was a guy wearing such and such hat and shirt- It was a guy she had just dealt with at the other end of the tore, said he was really nasty acting and stormed out pissed off- well he went out the exit and returned thru the door to my area-unknown to me he had done such...The next shift i worked-was a week later, an hour before shift ended, manager pulls me aside and tells me after review of the video he had to let me go due to my failure to provide proper customer service to this man who threw screws at me. I didnt let the man act the way he did and still do the return for him ,as if nothing happened- thats what i was told i should have done- REALLY? I should have smiled and shook the screws out of my hair and clothes while proceeding to assistant him in his return, then perhaps deal with the sratch left by a srew that he threw? OMG Was I let go becasue I didnt feel safe to proceed alone and jerk was the most professional term i could find to reply with? was i supposed let him both assault me and verbally attack me, and not find it out of line for him to do so ? did me saying"your acting like a jerk" really qualify for my termination after no prior issues, nothing but great evaluations for service? It s all on video with audio as well. As my supervisor fired me- in the same breath he said"you are eligible for reapplication to work here again in six months, i truly hope youll come back to reapply for your job and work with us again then. SERIOUSLY? Im fired and you hope to see me return in six months-to reapply for the position im losing ?? I lost a job, I really liked my job, I lost my dignity and was humiliated enough by the customers agressions- now Im unemployed for the same event becasue of my refusal to silently be assaulted and act like thats part of my job.  I want to know if this was all legal, if I was denied rights or consideration of circumstance that would have rendered my response to the customer as valid and okay to have done???

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You are in retail so I highly doubt you were working with a contract. Hence you were working under the doctrine of "Employment at will".

 

You can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all.  Telling a customer they are a jerk, no matter how true the statement, is a reason to terminate you. 

 

I personally would terminate you because you don't seem to know what a paragraph is.

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1 hour ago, Aat0116 said:

I want to know if this was all legal,

 

The termination was legal.

 

But I'm with you. You have a right to stand up to aholes, especially violent ones and I applaud you for doing it. Just understand that, when you do that, it comes with consequences.

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Everything was legal. You were not denied any rights. There is no requirement that the employer consider the circumstances. A legal termination does not become illegal because the customer was out of line. Telling a customer that he is a jerk is a no-no, even if he is. A better response would have been to refuse to address the customer until the manager you had summoned got there.

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I sort of stopped reading in the middle of the post when you stopped using normal punctuation and got excruciatingly detailed.

 

I think your basic question is whether it was legal for your employer to fire you for how you reacted to an a-hold customer.  If so, the answer is yes.  Most employment in the U.S. is "at will."  What that means is that the employee may quit at any time for any reason, and the employer may fire the employee at any time for any reason that is not expressly illegal.  Most -- but certainly not all -- of what "not expressly illegal" covers are things like discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc.  Terminating an employee for a somewhat tepid reaction to an a-hold customer is absolutely not illegal.

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1 hour ago, PayrollHRGuy said:

I think the OP's butchering of the English language is having an effect on the responses.

 

It even got pg1067, twice. Unless a-hold is a new word for a-hole. 

 

LOL!

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