Learn how to stop insubordination in the workplace


Do Not Tolerate Gross Insubordination

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Help for employers with insubordination and employee termination



Insubordination by an employee, much less gross insubordination, is grounds for dismissal. For most business owners and managers, dealing with any form of insubordination is a rough road. Continuing to employ this individual grants them the ability to lead a mutiny against the manager, but firing them can land the company and manager in court under a wrongful termination lawsuit. But common cases of insubordination are different from gross insubordination.

What Is Gross Insubordination?

As with any definition, the term "insubordination" encompasses shades of gray. Insubordination in itself is the refusal by an employee to follow a valid instruction from an individual in the employee’s chain of command. The employee is, purposely, not following the directions a superior has given to them. Gross insubordination is more severe. Here the failure of the employee to follow instructions leads to endangerment of the employee, their coworkers or the manager.

Also, it's insubordination that has severe consequences for the business. Some examples of gross insubordination are an employee who becomes violent and threatens others, whose refusal to follow safety protocol endangers others or who steal from the company's coffers. There are many other examples as well.

Written Documentation: Do You Need It?

Many employers do not waste the time with documenting the situation or getting an explanation from the employee. If the employer sees gross insubordination, they will generally discipline or terminate that employee. But in other cases, the manager chooses to give only a written warning. Other times, the manager will investigate, document the investigation and then fire the employee.

What you do depends on your specific situation. Sometimes an immediate firing is proper, but other times there are risks of legal repercussions. If you decide to use written warnings and an investigation, make sure you do it right. Otherwise, you legal documentation may not hold up in a court of law.

With gross insubordination, the employee shows a lack of respect not only for the manager, but also for coworkers and the business at large. Respect in the workplace is important in any business as it leads to increased productivity. As a manager or business owner, you should not tolerate gross insubordination. Once you see it, you should immediately start down the path towards termination procedures.

You don't have to take it anymore!!! Here's our recommended termination procedure for insubordination and other offenses

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