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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19319
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I have an employee who repeatedly takes lunch outside of s

Customer Question

Hi, I have an employee who repeatedly takes lunch outside of his unscheduled hours which ultimately violates policy and prevents other personnel from taking their lunch during their designated time. The employee has been verbally warned multiple times, but continues to violate the organizational policy. I have initiated the "Written Warning", but I am unsure if this would be considered an act of insubordination. Please advise.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

It technically could be considered an act of insubordination to violate a direct order from a supervisor. Now, that being said, it is more commonly considered simply a violation of policy rather than insubordination, which is more often connected with some verbally abusive response to a supervisor.

You can write it up as insubordination and that wouldn't create any sort of legal insufficiency, but this really is about the policy which is being violated. I would note that he has received notification of that policy and remedial training concerning the policy (any subsequent talks you've had with him about the policy), yet he still chooses to violate it.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am prior military, so I understand the "direct order", what language would you recommend using civilian terminology?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry. I left on family vacation and I'm just seeing your response. I suppose, I'm not sure what your question really means here. Why do you feel you have to state this as insubordination rather than simply leaving it as a violation of company policy? One has no greater power to allow disciplinary action than the other.