In law, misconduct is wrongful, improper, or unlawful conduct motivated by premeditated or intentional purpose or by obstinate indifference to the consequences of one's acts. Misconduct can be considered an unacceptable or improper behavior, especially for a professional person. Two categories of misconduct are sexual misconduct and official misconduct. In connection with school discipline, "misconduct" is generally understood to be student behavior that is unacceptable to school officials but does not violate criminal statutes, including absenteeism, tardiness, bullying, and inappropriate language. (Special Education Dictionary, 2003, LRP Publications) Misconduct in the workplace generally falls under two categories. Minor misconduct is seen as unacceptable but is not a criminal offense (e.g. being late, faking qualifications).[1] Gross misconduct can lead to dismissal (e.g. stealing or sexual harassment).

  • "Misconduct" includes something seen as unacceptable as well as criminal offenses e.g. deceptive manipulation.
  • "Gross misconduct"[2] can lead to immediate dismissal because it is serious enough and possibly criminal, e.g. stealing or sexual harassment.

Misconduct refers to an action, rather than neglecting to take action, or inaction which could be referred to as poor performance.[citation needed]

Examples of gross misconduct

The following may be classified as gross misconduct:

  • Being drunk or under the influence of any drug while on duty
  • Bribery
  • Conviction of a felony (in some jurisdictions)
  • Falsification of accounts
  • Falsifying time records
  • Financial misconduct
  • Fighting
  • Gross insubordination/disobedience/misappropriation
  • Illegal drug or alcohol use at work
  • Illicit use[clarification needed]
  • Negligence
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Stealing
  • Subjecting people to discrimination