I currently manage a team of quite a few engineers in Canada. Things normally run smoothly, but we've had a serious problem with a senior engineer as of late.
This engineer is the sole engineer on our team with his Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) designation, and we depend on him to evaluate security and safety features after reviewing in-house tests of our own products. He has always been a dependable employee, but since being overlooked for a promotion to principal engineer (which would have been a large pay increase), he refuses to sign off on tests, citing them as "flawed" or "not rigorous enough". It's gotten to the point where products we would normally ship still can't go out the door, since our policy dictates a P.Eng. must sign off on the security and safety tests in order to meet client requirements.
Part of his job, though not written into his contract, is that he signs off on the work records of newer engineers, so they can complete the 4 years of supervision under a P.Eng. to become P.Eng.'s themselves. He seems to never have time to sign these lately, and it is all that prevents us from expediting the process so we can have more P.Eng.'s in our company.
I think that if he got the promotion, this wouldn't be an issue, and that he's just trying to be difficult. I understand he must be frustrated, given that the person who got the job is related to one of the members of the exec board, and is about 10 years younger than him; so my guess is that he suspects nepotism and is retaliating. I had little say in the promotion process, sadly.
Is there any way to force him to stop this game? He's not technically breaking any company rules, and he's all but admitting to being cagey and difficult. I've also overheard discussions between colleagues of his (though not including him at the time) about attempting to force us to fire him and pay out a couple years of severance.
Or if I can't get him to smarten up, are there any resources through his licensing body to contract out a P.Eng. to review our tests and sign off on them while we find a replacement, or validate our suspicions he's just playing with us? Maybe they can provide a second opinion and provide proof to HR he's just willfully wasting time out of spite? I'm tired of having to pay someone who's causing the entire team and division to suffer, and don't want to have to pay him two year's salary to just go away.