Insubordination is the refusal to obey a reasonable and lawful instruction from your employer, explains labour law specialist Melanie Hart.
Insolent behaviour, on the other hand, is being cheeky, disrespectful and undermining your employer's authority.
Employers often confuse and conflate insolence with insubordination, Hart says.
She explains that employees have a duty to obey their employer who is in a position of authority.
Meanwhile, the employer is entitled to issue reasonable, lawful instructions to employees.
She discusses the relationship between the employee and the employer and how dismissal and disciplinary action can arise or be avoided.
As an employee, you have a duty to be subordinate to your employer.— Melanie Hart - Partner, Labour, Employment & Human Rights at Fasken Martineau
There are certain instances where a refusal to comply with an instruction may not necessarily be insubordinate if that instruction was not lawful or reasonable.— Melanie Hart - Partner, Labour, Employment & Human Rights at Fasken Martineau
Insolence is a disciplinary offence for which the employer can take disciplinary action against you.— Melanie Hart - Partner, Labour, Employment & Human Rights at Fasken Martineau
Hart shares examples of reasonable instructions, insubordination and insolent behaviour in the workplace.
Listen to the insightful discussion during the World of Work feature: