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Does insubordination, no matter how minor or inconsequential always result in no benefits

by Tom
(Pittsburgh, PA)

I was told to cut a check for a temp employee.

No precedent had been set for this. The temp agency always cut the checks
The temp agency said they were paying the temp for the error on his check
The temp was belligerent and threatening to me and had been threatening to the temp agency.
The temp said I would need to issue the check to his girlfriend for his work, as he had no checking account. His girlfriend did not work there.
I refused to write the check.
My boss fired me on the spot. My boss was ranting and raving and pacing and saying strange things. This was not usual for him.
I had been there nine months, was the accounting manager and had nothing but praise and written accolades to this point. I had no written or verbal warnings. This was an isolated incident.
The employer was always doing questionable practices with checks, such as under the table payments to those who should have been paid by employees. This particular request felt a bit like the proverbial "last straw"
I was denied benefits by state of Pennsylvania....am preparing an appeal


Hi Tom,

You were .. were you.

I think you absolutely should argue that insubordination did not occur when you refused to issue a "payroll check" to someone who wasn't the employee that was being paid. I don't know what the specific wage and hour laws are in PA .. but that sounds like a funky .. and possibly illegal thing to do .. no matter what state.

You might investigate valid reasons you had for refusing .. per PA's law.

Right off the top of my head .. I wonder how you could accurately report taxes if you are issuing payroll checks .. to non-employees.

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