Telemarketers may share liability with their employers

Name: Reese Jones

We all have our own opinions of telemarketers. Many people feel the need to yell and scream at the telemarketer for calling them at their residence, and this may not even be the telemarketers’ fault. In-fact, it is quite possible that companies are urging telemarketers to call numbers on the “Do Not Call Registry,” and are threatening them with their jobs if they refuse. Obviously I’m jumping to quite a few conclusions, but the point remains. Should the people actually making the calls receive all of the liability, and all of the blame? Absolutely not, and the FCC is taking steps toward remedying this situation.

            According to Bloomberg Law 1, the FCC is now moving toward issuing “vicarious liability” toward the third party that is pushing the actual callers to make unlawful calls. This is at the heart of agency law. The person making the call (the telemarketer) is the agent, while the company or 3rd party employing the telemarketer is the principle. What does this all mean? It means that the FCC considers telemarketers making the calls to be representing their company, and therefore liability can be imposed on the principal or the company. This doesn’t completely dismiss liability from the telemarketer, but it balances it out since the company or principal employing the telemarketer should share in joint liability.

            Okay, enough of the legal talk. What does this really mean? The long-term goal would be that companies would have more control processes in-place to ensure that their telemarketers are abiding by the law, and respecting the process of telemarketing. This significantly limits the power of the principal, and allows telemarketers to not feel as threatened to make calls as they had in the past. Telemarketers already have a very stressful occupation and they have to deal with irritated customers. It is great to see that they may be able to avoid unfortunate situations with the FCC imposing more liability on their employers.

Have you been harassed lately by a rash of telemarketing calls? Well, here is a short tutorial video on how to properly handle the situation, including steps on how to add your name to the “Do Not Call Registry.” Don’t take it out on the telemarketers when it is easy to remedy the situation!


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