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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 5 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.


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