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Fired for insubordination

by Anonymous
(LaBelle, Florida)

I worked for an agricultural company for 19 1/2 great years and six months of turmoil. I work my way up through the ranks to a position in Land Resources.

I represented the Company in all Local and Federal Governmental Agencies meetings and workshops. I also worked on a Comp Plan Amendment for Development which was accepted by the County for a 13,000 acre development.

As the Company became more and more financially stressed and management was being shuffled around, I came under the supervision of a different COO.

Just a month before the transition began, the CEO and my Manager developed a job description which I could not have been happier with after 19 1/2 years of extremely and highly recognized contributions.

Performance reviews were always of the highest quality in all facets of the job.

From the time of these transitions there was months of poor communication unscheduled meetings and the lack of any supervision I could confide in to discuss whats up.

The shorter version is the last six months of my employment was total confusion which lead to lack of confidence, reassignment of duties and supervision.

I felt expendable because of the economical atmosphere not only in Real Estate but constraints the Company had fallen prey to.

I was then informed that I was to be terminated for insubordination. That transpired April 11 2008, and I was given 24 hrs to vacate my office and leave the premises.

I have been working on much of the same projects with both local and Federal Agencies as a volunteer.

I have and continue to look for work opportunities but the economical downturn has left many in my situation and there just are not any available positions in this rather small agricultural area of SW Florida.

I have been able to sustain myself up to now, however, insurance, and normal expenditures have brought me to the point of asking for unemployment assistance.

Although I was terminated, someone in
upper level management offered a severance package, which I gladly accepted. Those funds are long since gone and I am still unemployed to date.

Hi Anonymous,

You are not alone, there are many people filing or thinking of filing for unemployment that always thought of it as something they would never do, or have to do. There goes the theory that everyone on unemployment is looking for a free ride.

Now onto your situation.

First, the severance would probably have prevented you from collecting unemployment for however many weeks it was for.

If you do apply for unemployment, the question of whether you will be eligible will come down to the wages in your base period. If you filed on 12/1 your base period should be 7/1/07 through 6/30/08. Florida, like most states uses wages earned in the first 4 of the last 5 completed quarters, so monetarily you should be okay, but not as okay if you had filed as soon as the severance was gone. If you waited until 1/1/09 you would lose even more because your base period would then be 10/1/07 through 9/30/08.

But you will also need to overcome the termination for insubordination. Florida's disqualification statute reads:

. Disqualification for being discharged for misconduct connected with his or her work continues for the full period of unemployment next ensuing after having been discharged and until the individual has become reemployed and has earned income of at least 17 times his or her weekly benefit amount and for not more than 52 weeks that immediately follow that week, as determined by the Agency for Workforce Innovation in each case according to the circumstances in each case or the seriousness of the misconduct, under the agency's rules adopted for determinations of disqualification for benefits for misconduct.

What act was considered the insubordination?

You mentioned a new "job description"

If you could share some more details about why you were terminated..I might be able to be more help.


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Superintendent of Land Resources
by: Anonymous

Regarding the job description, I was doing so many different jobs requiring 7 days a week and 24 hr. on call in order to provide the time required to perform my new (although I had already been spending the majority of time on these projects) job description it required relieving me of most of my other job responsibilities.

I did keep three which allowed me to devote the time necessary to promote and position the company with both Local and Federal agencies for the future.

The reassignment took place and I was to devote 80% towards my " new " job and 20 % on the 3 responsibilities I choose to keep.

I am well documented in the transformation.
As the executive reassignments began to unravel, I
became under the jurisdiction of a different COO.
He had no idea of what I did and was really not interested, he had other plans for me which was really a major step backwards in my career.

Confusion amongst the executives went on for months, as many if not all, were being reassigned, including family members. I did not mention this is a family owned business heading into the 4th generation transition.

My few conversations with my new boss (who also had new responsibilities), I thought were to educate him on what I really did, where his impression was you will do what I want. I tried to explain that I could not be happier with my new job description and had hoped to continue to fulfill a very important function. I thought I was in negotiations regarding what I did, compared to what he wanted, which in some cases I was not interested.

It was my "refusal" to accept his demands that at a scheduled meeting, which I understood was to try to work out these differences, that he brought in HR and explained my termination based upon refusal to accept his terms. I was shocked, and having delivered work to CEO's VP. Managers that I seemed to be left out.

Understand they were all trying to figure out their new jobs.

I look at it as executive jurisdictional boundaries and no one seemed to care anymore or were so scared to voice their opinion.

I was offered a 6 month severance which essentially took me to Oct 11, 2008.

Fired for Insubordination
by: Chris

Hi Anonymous,

File away. You've related a number of things in your account that will make it difficult for the employer to prove or sustain (sustain is what they need to do if you're denied and appeal)their assertion of "insubordination".

1. "he had other plans for me which was really a major step backwards in my career."

2. "I thought I was in negotiations regarding what I did"

3. "It was my "refusal" to accept his demands that at a scheduled meeting, which I understood was to try to work out these differences, that he brought in HR and explained my termination based upon refusal to accept his terms."

If it comes to a hearing, (depending upon the amount of money at stake) you might consider consulting with an attorney for some pointers on how to present your case, such as the issues to focus on, when to object, and the documentation that you possess or may need to subpoena to support your position.

Additionally, I might ask how old you are. I know you have worked for this company for 19 1/2 years, but if you're getting up there in years, is their a possibility that the "new guard" which I assume to be the young ones, might feel threatened by your age and experience and would prefer a younger ambitious "yes man"? Just food for thought which if it applies to your situation, would definitely require a consultation with an attorney.

Good Luck Anonymous, let us know how it the next person who may find your situation similar to theirs can gain some understanding.


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