If I am fired for hanging up on a manager who was yelling at me, will I be able to collect unemployment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I am fired for hanging up on a manager who was yelling at me, will I be able to collect unemployment?

My boss told me to update the sales calendar, distribute via email, and let everyone know that going forward, I will be managing the calendar. Apparently this angered the EVP of Sales and he decided to call me up and yell at me. I defended myself and he calmed down after yelling at me for several minutes. I was tempted to hang up on him because I was concerned that I’d be terminated

for insubordination. However, I don’t feel that what he did was appropriate and unfortunately I work in an unprofessional work environment that allows people in his position to verbally abuse employees. I do not feel I should be forced to tolerate such abuse and yes HR is aware of what happened. So if he yells at me again and I decide to simply hang up on him, is that considered insubordination? Will I be able to collect unemployment?

Asked on October 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An employee is only eleigible for to collect unemployment benefits so long as they are not fired "for cause". And insubordination is one such type of cause. Further, while this action is highly unprofessional, the fact is that rude or boorish behavior on the part of management does not constitute a "hostile work enviovrnment", which is legally actionable. Bottom line, if you hang up on this VP you can be terminated and will not qualify for unemployment compensation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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