DTE fires employee over Facebook message

Expletive-laced message mocks customers without power

A DTE Energy contract customer service representative was fired over a facebook message.
A DTE Energy contract customer service representative was fired over a facebook message.

DETROIT – A DTE Energy contract customer service representative has been fired after posting an expletive-laced message on her Facebook page Monday, the worst day for storm-related power losses in 10 years.

As DTE crews worked to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of customers who lost electricity in the storms that swept through the area Sunday and the powerful winds that followed Sunday night and Monday, a customer service representative posted this message on her Facebook page:

"Got to work this morning and we currently have 275,000 customers without power!  White people in Oakland County are (expletive) right now they got (expletive) up, LOL. And don't call me acting the (expletive) fool I will hang up on yo (expletive) this has been your DTE representative public service announcement," the message read.

Customers who saw the message posted it on Twitter. DTE Energy followed with a Twitter message saying Burnett had been released.

Trevor Lauer, of DTE Distribution and Operations, commented on the matter during a news briefing.

"We had a contract employee that was handling calls this morning, acting in an inappropriate way. That contract employee has been relieved of their job. We have a zero tolerance policy here at DTE. We expect all of our employees to treat our customers and the public with the utmost respect and unfortunately in this case it didn't happen," Lauer said.

Local 4 reached out to speak with Rachel Burnett, but she did not respond.

Burnett removed the post in question from her Facebook page.  One person who responded to it said they understood what she said.  Another reportedly urged Burnett to be careful, because her comments could cost her her job.

It did.

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