Clarification of insubordination
I am Dr. Debashis Biswas (MSc, PhD), working at Kolkata Municipal Corporation as the Chief Vector Control Officer. Two-3 days ago, I received an instruction from the Chief Municipal Health Officer (the job for which he gave me the instruction does not concern me). I sent it back to him, requesting him to send the instruction to the officer concerned. My senior did not listen to me. He sent the instruction again to me. After getting the instruction, I wrote to him: "This concerns Municipal Surveillance Officer. My inability to comply with your instructions is highly regretted."
The CMHO of KMC showed the letter to another senior doctor, who, after reading my note, opined inwriting: that my note is a "case of insubordination." I am confused. I am scared. And I am feeling demoralised. I am a non-medical doctorate. And they are all Medicos. For reasons best known to them, they tend to humiliate me diplomatically. If this sort of humiliation continues, I will have to resign. Please help get rid of this problem. Was my write-up a case of "insubordination?"
Asked in Civil Law from Kolkata, West Bengal
1) you have to comply with instructions received from your senior in respect of work to be done by you as per your responsibilities
2) if instructions furnished by senior did not relate to your scope of work and related to some other officer you have rightly in your noting pointed out the same .
3) no case of insubordination is made out .
4) in the event any show cause notice is issued to you in your reply mention that you did not comply with instructions since it did not pertain to your work
5) you should also go and meet your senior personally and mention that you have no intentions to defy his instructions and that in your notings you have merely stated correct the correct legal position regarding your responsibilities
This does not become a case of insubordination since the work was not pertaining to your qualifications. If required meet the highest authority and represent your case to him.
1) The Chief Municipal Health Officer being in that position has the authority to pass on instructions to you as you are a subordinate.
2) However he can not give you instructions which is outside specific area of work and expertise thou are hired for.
3) You're having brought the same to the notice of your senior does not amount to insubordination and if an attempt is made to paint it so you have the right to defend and protect yourselves against such harassment.
4) Have a one to one talk with your senior to iron out misunderstandings if possible. If you are being discriminated against for being a non medical doc. raise a complaint to the Municipal Commissioner
there is no case of insubordination is made out against you as per your information.
no need to worry, if they issue any show cause notice to you then reply the same with the help of a lawyer, if you think that you are unable to reply the same by yourself, it will be better.
Advocate, New Delhi
1. Who are you reporting to funstionally and administratively?
2. Does your appointment letter (or any other letter) specifies your duties and responsibilities?
3. You stated "(the job for which he gave me the instruction does not concern me).". Is there any list jobs for which you should be concerned? Or do you yourself decide (based on your qualification and area of specialisation) which are the jobs for which you should be concerned?
4. Is it written in your appointment letter (or any other letter) that you shall have to do the duties/jobs also as asked by your seniors?
5. In absence of the above information, it is difficult to advise properly.
1. You are obligated to comply with the instructions received from your senior if the work you are required to perform falls within the ambit of your official duties. You were within your right to refuse to execute the instructions received by you if the work you were required to perform does not does not relate to the work which you are officially required to perform., in which event there is no case for insubordination.
2. You do not have to resign as you have sufficient options under the legal framework.
3. If a show cause notice for initiating disciplinary proceedings against you is issued then reply to it through your lawyer.