How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LawHelpNow Your Own Question
LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 7639
Experience:  Relax. Let's work together. Practical solutions.
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
LawHelpNow is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In early Dececember 2012, I had a loud arguement with the "in

This answer was rated:

In early Dececember 2012, I had a loud arguement with the "in charge" person at my place of employment. I was very upset and so was she. We were loud with our voices. I Told her that I was sorry...this was witnessed by another coworker. This "in charge" person told my other co-workers and management that I had pushed her while argueing. The witness of our disagreement, told the manager that I had said that I was sorry and I had touched her "the in charge person's" shoulder and asked her for help, since I was, in her opinion doing the task the wrong way. The "in charge" person would not speak to me. I was told by management that she tends to stetch the truth a little. I received a verbal warning.
This Saturday, the "in Charge " person..same one as in December.. told me to do a task. I did not do it. The Manager would be coming in , in another hour. Who is in charge? Every other day the real boss is in charge..this girl is just a worker bee just like everyone else. I am now going to be written up for insubordination. what can I say to fight the insubordination charges?


My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.

Sure sorry for the circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to you.

Accordingly, I'm pleased to try and provide you with peace of mind. I've been in upsetting work situations and I know just how stressful they can be. However, here is the best asset I can provide you when it comes to your meeting. Namely, arming yourself with the knowledge of just what constitutes the legal definition of "insubordination". Specifically, it works like this under New York Law. Courts have held that the word means: "[a]n employee's failure to comply with an employer's reasonable request ... ." Matter of Guagliardo v. Commissioner of Labor, 27 A.D.3d 866, 867 (3d Dep't 2006); Saenger v. Montefiore Med. Ctr., 706 F. Supp. 2d 494, 508 (2010). However, looking deeper into the law, we find that it's no easy trick for an employer to meet that definition. In the first case I mentioned, the Court held that a physician was properly terminated from employment for committing a "multitude of serious, independent, documented, and therefore good-faith complaints" -- pretty strong language, as you can see. And the Court was referencing highly unprofessional and objectionable conduct such as blatantly refusing to attend to patients waiting in a clinic setting.

So, I say all of that to make this point. Your actual "real" designated manager was coming in later in the day. A fellow employee telling you to do something does not meet the definition of an employer's reasonable request, period. There are two factors here, meaning (1) your conduct was not sufficiently improper and (2) the person making the demand was not, in fact, your employer. Mentioning all of this presents your best chance of explaining your position. I'll hold a good thought for you that the meeting goes smoothly!

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I truly hope all works out for you.

Take care,

Ben, J.D.

LawHelpNow and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What kind of action can i take in regards XXXXX XXXXX the false statements that were made by a co worker stating that I had pushed her? In early Dec. 2012.. the explaination is above.


Hello again,
Thanks for writing back, great to hear from you!
When it comes to false statements, that remedy lies in the civil law by means of a tort law defamation cause of action. In other words, you would have an attorney file suit seeking monetary damages for making the false statement and the harm this caused you when relayed to other parties (i.e. damaged reputation and so forth).
Hope that helps some more, but if you need anything please just say the word.
Kind regards,
Ben, J.D.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not mean to be thick. This fellow employee is "the in charge person" every other weekend...but the real manager was coming hour later.. which is not normal..he knew it would be a very busy saturday.

Hi there,
Thanks so much for the kindness of your favorable rating!
No, I don't think you're being a bit thick, but I certainly understand what you mean. I've been in a number of somewhat similar work situations where someone takes it upon themselves to self-appoint as the "unwritten manager". It can be a very dicey situation, but as far as a meritorious insubordination claim goes, you're position is strong based on the law.
Hang in there, and I truly hope it gets better...and soon!
Best regards,
Ben, J.D.
LawHelpNow and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

un-written manager..what kind of arguement can I give.. there is no extra pay and there are no requirements...when is she a in charge person?.. When does her in charge begin and end in a day? ..But I have been told by management that she is an in charge person....Example. She worked this past Sat..6 am to 2 pm.. I came in at 8 am worked to 3pm..Manager(the boss) came in 9 am left around 2 pm.


Hi again,
Sure, I understand your thinking, and it all boils down to one simple point. The legal definition (which is the only one that counts here, opinions are meaningless) of insubordination contains an element of refusing a reasonable request of an employer. Is the person in question "your employer"? If not, then no matter how arguably reasonably her directive was, the law does not require you to follow it.
Hope that makes sense...I'm about to log off but I noticed your reply and didn't want to leave you hanging, knowing the meeting is coming up. Truthfully, you certainly strike me as a logical and intelligent person. I think you'll do just fine!

Take care,
Ben, J.D.

I enjoyed working with you recently.

How are things going?

Is there anything else I can do to help?

Please just let me know.


Ben, J.D.

Related Employment Law Questions