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Fired for Insubordination in Pennsylvania

(Pennsylvania Unemployment)

I was granted benefits but then received an appeal from my employers unemployment rep.

They originally told me that the reason they terminated me was because I told personnel that I had an interview for another job.

Now they are saying that it is insubordination because I called by boss an asshole.

The truth of the matter is that I was having a personal conversation with an outside vendor. I told him to see me first and then the head asshole in service.

Unknown to me, he had his speakerphone on his cellphone and was in my bosses office.

My boss heard this and came up to my office and said real nice. I said, whatever and he left.

This happened 1 and 1/2 weeks prior to my termination. I was a top selling individual. He has personally called me names in the past. Is this speakerphone on the cell legal or is it inadmissable like a tape recording being that I had no knowledge of it being on.

Chris's Response - Insubordination? I'd Call it Inappropriate Conduct

This is a good question .. if you're interested in what I think amounts to work related misconduct good question when I can see the disdainful sarcasm dripping off your words.

I do know this. Pennsylvania is an "all party" consent state when it comes to recording phone conversations .. I've no idea if you not knowing you were on speaker in your bosses office matters.

But that's not what you tell me you were fired for .. even if your boss directly heard you when you referred to them as the head asshole to a vendor they do business with while that vendor was in your bosses office.

Your account has some credibility cracks in it .. because to believe you, I would have to suspend my own reason and logic.

This begs the question, at least for me, of whether you knew the vendor was in your bosses office, or not and whether getting caught red-handed calling your boss the "head" asshole should be classified as a discharge for insubordination, or inappropriate
conduct in the workplace.

I'm leaning toward the latter, but only because you admitted to doing it and further clarified the incident I think you were fired for .. and am speculating probably not the first time ... whatever.

But, let's address the reason you told the unemployment department in your claim you were fired. That is not misconduct because employees who work at will are also free to look at will for a new job.

It it were really true you were being fired for telling personnel you were interviewing for a new job .. I wouldn't have much more to say to you.

But like I said .. I'm have a hard time believing that's what the employer documented.

Do you have a termination notice stating that sharing news of a job interview was the reason and cause for your discharge? It would be helpful, but I highly doubt an employer with any experience with fighting UI claims would actually document that as the cause to support misconduct.

Now, let's move on to something else that tells me their was another incident, or another reason the employer waited for a full week and half to discharge you .. considering they were present to hear the remark ..

Did they possibly have to wind their way through your companies HR red tape to wrangle permission to discharge you first?

Calling your boss an asshole while talking to one of your companies vendors in my opinion could very well present "harm to an employer's interest".

First of all, saying something like that is unprofessional.

Secondly, the fact that you're also trying to justify by claiming your boss has called you names in the past is irrelevant to the reason the unemployment department has been told you were fired for.

Two wrongs do not make one deserving of benefits .. or right at an unemployment hearing.

And by the way .. being a top performer for a business does not give that at-will employee leave to violate the same rules everybody hanging out in the bottom of the bell curve must follow too.


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