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I am a manager involved in getting project out the door quickly, and oversee several dozen engineers for this project. A year ago, my senior engineer designed a replacement technology for a core piece of technology we use, and almost all engineers opposed it because they are lazy, and some went far as writing lengthy discussions on re-writing this because it was, in their opinion, "fundamentally broken".

One engineer decided to go over my senior engineer and myself to raise her concerns to senior management, and assembled a meeting with other senior engineers. I believe this individual orchestrated opposition to our replacement technology in advance, so that when a larger meeting with senior management and senior engineering took place, there was massive opposition to our replacement technology already.

Regardless of the outcome of the meeting, this engineer went over two senior colleagues, setting us back almost ten months of work, since management now wants us to re-do our replacement technology. Are there any legal problems with firing this engineer?

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    By tagging this whistleblowing, are you implying the rework you did was illegal or unethical? Otherwise, that tag shouldn't be on this question. Also, if senior management considers your replacement a bad idea, doesn't that mean you shouldn't have invested those 10 months in the first place? It sounds more like your engineer saved you whatever more work you would've put into something that apparently isn't doing what it should. – Erik Jun 3 '18 at 13:33
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    It sounds you are the bad guy. Also, your organisation is toxic. You want to punish a person for something people above you agree is a good decision. How would you explain that to your supervisors? – Mateusz Stefek Jun 3 '18 at 13:47
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    I suspect they opposed it because it was fundamentally broken, not because they're lazy - backup by management making you re-do. Rather that asking about firing the engineer, you might want to reconsider your opinion on this whole matter – tddmonkey Jun 3 '18 at 13:47
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    NO engineer who is "Lazy" will every turn down a functional technology. If you have something that works, and is reliable, then that problem is "done" and you can move on. If an engineer opposes a technology, it's because the technology is flawed. – Wesley Long Jun 3 '18 at 14:02
  • Gentle reminder: please cast your votes on the contents of the question, not the user who posted it. You find the OP's actions despicable, I get that, but that's not what downvotes are for. Rather unfortunately, this won't be the last time this situation will play out in some workplace, which makes it a useful question! – Masked Man Jun 3 '18 at 17:59
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Let me reformulate your question: You, as a manager, together with "your" senior engineer made up a plan on your own, discarded concerns of the rest of the engineering team as "laziness", and now that several senior engineers convinced the management (i.e. your bosses?) that something needs to be changed, you actually want to fire the person who brought up the issues?

You are the one who should be fired for gross incompetence at managing people.

  • Talking about "my" senior eng. instead of e.g. "our technical lead" - for a good manager there is no "my" but only "our".
  • Not being able to address the concerns of your team and work with them on the problems which they see.
  • After your management made a decision which you don't like, you do not accept their decision
  • You want to fire somebody who got the attention from your bosses and convinced the rest of the team to do something?

My strong recommendation: work with this person instead of against her, and positively plan with your team, otherwise I already can make some guesses who will be on your chair after the management wipes the project clean of narcissistic and egocentric people.

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    I wish I could +100 for the first bullet point alone. The overall answer deserves +500, at least. If you, as a manager, feel you "own" your people, well, we (in the US) had a bit of a scuffle about that idea about 160 years ago ... – Wesley Long Jun 3 '18 at 14:01
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    A little over the top. – paparazzo Jun 3 '18 at 17:08
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    @paparazzo: yes, i wanted to fit the arrogant, egocentric style of the question. – Sascha Jun 3 '18 at 17:32

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