Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Insolence Definition:

Insulting a supervisor at the workplace or during the tenure of an employment contract.

Related Terms: Insubordination

"Haughty and contemptuous or brutal behaviour language; lacking usual or proper respect for rank or position; presumptuously disrespectful or familiar towards equals or superiors.”

Mellquist v. Lake of The Rivers No. 72 (Canada)

Also, as set out in Henry v Foxco Ltd.:

"There is a distinction between insubordination and insolence though sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. In this case, there was some evidence of both: (the employee's) use of abusive language directed at (the supervisor) constituted insolence while (the employee's) refusal to use a "heat gun" to speed up the removal of the decals from the vans and his refusal to obey (the supervisor's) directive to go home and cool down was insubordination."

insolenceSee also Insolence: The Art of Insulting The Boss and Getting Fired.

In the USA, insolence towards the Court can attract quick justice.

To wit, this comment in the 1965 case of  Harris v. United States, 382 US 162:

"Summary disposition is ... available ... when immediate punishment is necessary to put an end to acts disrupting the proceedings, such as threats to the judge, disturbances in the courtroom or insolence before the court."

In Muhammad v. Close, the Supreme Court of the United States noted that the Michigan Department of Corrections Policy Directive defined insolence as:

"Words, actions, or other behavior which is intended to harass, or cause alarm in an employee".

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