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Using profanity while off the clock

Discussion in 'Human Resources' started by Leeann625, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Leeann625

    Leeann625 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I just clocked out for the day and I had an extremely rough day so I was on the phone venting. I suppose a customer heard me curse when I was not aware anyone was around me nor that I was in hearing distance of anyone. The following Monday I get called into the HR managers office in regards to that customers complaint about what they heard. He tells me he needs to talk to his supervisors about what actions are needed to make but termination is up for consideration. I apologized deeply and sincerely for the misconduct and explained that what happened is not who I am as an employee or person in general. Can they really fire me for a one time occurrence that I was unaware of?
     
  2. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    They can. They can fire you for no reason at all. Just wait and see and remain apologetic.
     
    Leeann625 likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Yes.
    It does not matter that you were off the clock.
    Termination seems like a steep penalty. I wouldn't expect it unless there have been other issues.
     
    Leeann625 likes this.
  4. Leeann625

    Leeann625 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No this is the first time but I am under my 90 days at this job
     
  5. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    But realize that the customer not only heard your profanity, but also whatever you were "venting" about -- if it was employment related (supervisor, coworker, other customers, product, etc) and this is a customer service/front facing position, that will probably be taken into account. And you were in a place to be overheard and didn't notice/care.bb As will your less than 90 days of service. Unfortunately that is not a lot of time to build up any goodwill/work habits/performance for them to realize this is a "one-off" to your real personality/job performance. If anything, most employees do their very best in the beginning and then tend to get more comfortable over time.

    There is a common law doctrine called "duty of loyalty" -- The laws in every state require that an employee refrain from behaving in a manner that would be contrary to his employer’s interests...your employer isn't required to tolerate employee behavior that’s contrary to its interests. You have a responsibility to your company that doesn’t end when they clock out. -- from hrhero.com

    I honestly would advise one of my managers to let you go...why? Because when people/employees show you who they are, believe them. Honestly, lots of employment issues could be solved if managers would follow this principle.

    Lesson learned....don't vent/use profanity in your workplace even when you are not on the clock unless it is a protect concerted activity between employees who are working for better wages, working conditions, etc.
     
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  6. ferretrick

    ferretrick Member

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    Best thing you can do is be humble, apologize, and say it will not happen again and hope they give you another chance. They are well within their rights.
     
  7. Leeann625

    Leeann625 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Update: they did end up terminating me.
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Time for you to make some very sweet and tart lemonade, take a couple of hits, and get out there and improve your lot in life.

    Good luck in your future endeavors.
     
    Leeann625 likes this.
  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Nothing you can do... Move on and be more careful in the future.
     
    Leeann625 likes this.
  10. Leeann625

    Leeann625 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Definitely. Lesson learned. Thank you to all
     
  11. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    There was an article recently in Dear Abby regarding having to listen to people using profanity in public and listening to personal phone calls. Plenty of people are still a little old-fashioned about things like that. Once upon a time phone calls were made in the privacy of a home or office. I miss those good old days sometime. Best of luck to you in the future.
     
    hrforme likes this.

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