Cheeky Note To Manager Gets Gas Station Employee Fired

By Joni Metherell
Categories: Blog, Employment Law

A tired Michigan BP gas station attendant who had just completed the night shift and wanted to go home put his boss on blast and lost his job as a result.

The employee was waiting for his manager to relieve him and she was an hour late because, she said later, she had slept through her alarm.

The employee locked up the store and went home, but not before taping a handwritten note to the inside of the glass doors of the gas station, where customers could see it. The note read:

"Hey boss, Learn to be on time or at least communicate when you are going to be late. +1hr with no phone call is unacceptable. As you can see, the doors are locked. I went home. Fire me if you must, but realize I walked due to YOUR negligence. Joe"

Ironically, the note was posted right beside a Help Wanted sign in the gas station window. BP took Joe up on his offer to fire him.

Insubordination in the workplace can cost an employee his or her job in British Columbia too. However, termination of employment for cause (i.e. without any notice or severance) does not usually occur because of a single insubordinate event, or due to words spoken in the heat of the moment. In most cases in British Columbia, verbal insubordination of a supervisor would give rise to a verbal or written warning or other form of discipline. But unless there is repeated insubordinate conduct, or disrespectful behaviour coupled with threats or actual violence this type of behaviour is unlikely to give the employer the right to fire an employee and not pay them any severance. But if the employer decides not to tolerate any insubordinate behaviour, the employer may simply elect to terminate the employment and pay the employee whatever severance he or she may be entitled to.

Joni’s practice encompasses a range of civil litigation areas. She has extensive experience in wills, estate and trust litigation, labour and employment issues, and disputes related to real property.

Joni can be contacted at 250-869-1200 or metherell@pushormitchell.com.

*Providing services through a law corporation