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What Does Gross Insubordination Mean

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. April 27, 2017
What Does Gross Insubordination Mean

Business owners need to hire employees to manage their business. They trust their employees to work for their benefit, in return of which they pay wages to their employees. The employers expect their employees to obey their rules and follow their instructions. But if the employees do not abide by their employers or superiors, this leads to gross insubordination, based on which the employer can even dismiss or terminate the employee. Elements like physical violence, theft, fraud, negligence and disrespect are also covered under gross insubordination. Read this oneHOWTO article to know what does gross insubordination mean in detail.

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  1. When does gross insubordination happen?
  2. Examples of gross insubordination
  3. How should an employer deal with gross insubordination?
  4. What to do in case of gross insubordination
  5. Elements of gross insubordination

When does gross insubordination happen?

Gross insubordination takes place when an employee intentionally ignores or disobeys his employer’s instructions. This kind of behavior from the employee goes straight as a challenge to the employer. When an employer gives lawful instructions to his employees, it is the employees’ responsibility to carry it out, provided that it is within his or her capability. So, while considering gross insubordination, make sure that the instructions that the employer gave to the employee were legitimate, lawful and safe. If they were not, the employee can prove himself justified in refusing them. In addition, the instructions should be given only in good faith of the job, and they should not aim at merely embarrassing or harassing the employee.

Examples of gross insubordination

Some of the common examples of gross insubordination include:

  1. Theft or dishonesty
  2. Serious damage to the company's property
  3. Misuse of computer software and confidential data
  4. Fraud with documents, including accounts, reports, claims, expenses etc.
  5. Misleading or untrue information submitted during the process of recruitment
  6. Corruption or bribery
  7. Using abusive language at the workplace
  8. Repeated violation of rules and instructions
  9. Violent or dangerous behavior with coworkers or superiors
  10. Incapacity due to drug or alcohol abuse
  11. Racial or sexual discrimination or harassment
What Does Gross Insubordination Mean - Examples of gross insubordination

How should an employer deal with gross insubordination?

When an employee disobeys his employer, the first reaction of the employer is usually to dismiss him or her. But this is not the correct way of dealing with gross insubordination from the employees. Instead, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you communicate the instructions clearly to the employee?
  • Did he or she understand what was required to be done?
  • Did the employee disobey you deliberately?
  • Were your instructions safe and lawful?
  • Did the employee have a justified reason to refuse your order?
  • How did the refusal affect your business, and could you fix it easily?

What to do in case of gross insubordination

If you are an employer or any of your employees is showing gross insubordination towards you, then you have right to take a fair disciplinary action against him/her. Usually, this includes steps like a written warning and verbal warning. You can also consider giving him a short duration of suspension at first, and the employee should be intimated about why he/she is being suspended. If the employee's conduct does not improve even after returning from the suspension, you have reasonable and justified reason to treat him with law. Sometimes, the gross insubordination is so severe that you may not choose to give him warnings, and terminate the employee immediately on the spot.

What Does Gross Insubordination Mean - What to do in case of gross insubordination

Elements of gross insubordination

If you are considering terminating an employee due to gross insubordination, make sure that your instructions were lawful, and the employee did not have any valid reason to refuse. You also need to procure a proof that you gave the instruction and the employee ignored them, and that this kind of behavior was a challenge to your authority. You also need to prove that that the employee disobeyed you or caused you harm deliberately. The instructions that you gave and the employee refused should form a part of the person's job, and should be safe for him/her. Your statement should not have any loopholes, otherwise the employee can find his right to make a claim against you.

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What Does Gross Insubordination Mean