Understanding Insubordination at Workplace

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Insubordination at a workplace takes place when an employee intentionally refuses to follow his employer’s lawful and reasonable orders. In which case, the employer is eligible to take some disciplinary action against his employee and can also terminate him without notice. 

However, insubordination doesn’t necessarily include a just cause termination in every case. To give our readers a better understanding of what insubordination means and how employees can protect their best interests, De Bousquet PC, the expert employment lawyer from Hamilton has curated the following article.

De Bousquet PC is known for being the best employment lawyer in Hamilton and has helped numerous clients in the city to seek justice.

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Understanding Insubordination

To properly understand insubordination, it is important to take a look at three factors that helps in determining insubordination:

  1. The order is given by the employer and it is reasonable and lawful
  2. The employee has acknowledged the order
  3. The employee has refused to obey the order intentionally

Sometimes insubordination gets easily confused with insolence, but they have two separate meanings. Insolence refers to the employee’s disrespectful behaviour towards his superiors. Such as, if the employee has used derisive or abusive language with his manager or supervisor then it comes under insolence.

Here are some great examples of what insubordination in the workplace means:

  • When an employee refuses to do a certain task or do his job especially when he is ordered to do so
  • When an employee refuses to come to the office or any other workplace
  • When the employee fails to take permission of his superior or employer for taking leave
  • When an employee refuses to attend his shift 
  • When an employee is asked to do a certain medical examination and he refuses intentionally

What will not be included under insubordination?

To clarify further, an employment lawyer in Hamilton, De Bousquet PC has shared some great examples below to help the readers understand what is not considered insubordination:

  • best employment lawyer in HamiltonWhen an employee refuses to perform the ordered tasks that are beyond his scope of work. Such as something that is not a part of his job description
  • If the reason behind the unfulfillment of the job is the misunderstood instructions
  • If the nature of the request is unethical or the employer is asking the employee to do something illegal. 
  • If the employer has asked his employee to do something unreasonable that does not align with the norms of contemporary society
  • The order is given by someone who has no authority on the employee or in the organization
  • If the employee is refusing to do a certain task because he is concerned for his own safety
  • If the employee is refusing to do the task because of the change in remuneration

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, if the reason for the disobedience is understandable or reasonable then the employer should not terminate the employee in the name of subordination. In this type of scenario, it is highly advisable for both employee and the employer to work out a solution to deal with the situation in the best way. By giving proper explanation the employee can also make his employer understand the reasoning behind his disobedience. 

Can I Be Fired for Insubordination?

If the insubordination is minor and a single isolated incident then it is the duty of the employer to maintain peace and engage himself in progressive discipline by giving him a verbal warning. 

However, if it was a very serious offence or is becoming a part of a patterned behaviour then the employer has the right to terminate the employee. It may be rare but it is definitely legal. 

The Bottom Line

If you are facing a similar situation in your organization in Hamilton and is seeking some legal consultation on the matter and want only the best employment lawyer in Hamilton then you can consult De Bousquet PC for their expert services.