Insubordination. Work now, grieve later. Wrongful termination. What do these mean?

I confess, I’ve long struggled with “insubordination”. Though giving and taking orders is foundational for harmony on the job, it’s that has marked progress through the years. Where would we be if the heroes of the past had only done what they were told?

But challenging authority comes with risk and consequence. Taking a stand for rights and principle against orders usually gets you fired. I just got a call about a man who stood up for himself. He refused to do work that wasn’t his and belonged to another. What’s more, he was union, so he believed he was following the contract.

He was fired. But he lost his case, on the time-worn principle of “work now, grieve later.” That is, he would still be employed if he’d done as he was told, then challenged it, in hope of winning in front of a neutral decisionmaker.

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