There is no right to refuse reasonable directions from a manager. 

However, when those directions amount to a "new job" altogether, the employee may be able to claim constructive dismissal.  This question was put to an Ontario judge in the recent case of Gary Gordon v. Tubs Ultimate Bath Store. 

Employees cannot always be forced to take on additional duties. If those new responsibilities can be viewed as a creating a new position, the employee may be able to reject them and insist on compliance with their original job. That decision, however, must be reasonable.

In this case, the judge ruled that Gordon's decision to refuse directions from his boss was unreasonable and did not amount to a constructive dismissal because those directions were part and parcel of his usual working conditions. 

To read the full synopsis of this case visit my Metro News Columnists' page here.

Daniel A. Lublin is an employment lawyer focussing on the law of dismissal.  He can be reached at Dan@toronto-employmentlawyer.com or through www.canadaemploymentlawyer.com