Willful disobedience as Ground for Disciplinary ActionAtty Elvin
Willful disobedience or insubordination can be ground for disciplinary action which the employer can penalize with dismissal.
The post below is based on the book Guide to Valid Dismissal of Employees Second Edition.
A common situation involving this ground is when a superior gives an order to a subordinate but the latter refuses to comply. However, for insubordination to arise, the order given must be lawful.
There is no duty to perform an illegal act even if the one demanding is a boss. Hence, a superior cannot charge his staff with insubordination if the task he wants done is illegal.
If the willful disobedience by an employee is committed against an unreasonable order or one not connected with his duties, such act cannot be a valid ground for dismissal.
To be valid, the order mentioned here must be:
(1) Reasonable and lawful,
(2) Known to the employee, and
(3) Pertains to the duties which the employee has been engaged to discharge.
What is reasonable depends on the circumstances.
The reasonableness and lawfulness of a rule, order or instruction depend on the circumstances availing in each case. Reasonableness pertains to the kind or character of directives and commands and to the manner in which they are made.
However, when the law requires that the order must be lawful and reasonable, it does not end there. The act of the employee disregarding such order must also be intentional.