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This article is about the legal sense. For misconduct in scientific research, see Scientific misconduct. For the association football sense, see Fouls and misconduct (association football). For the infraction in ice hockey, see Penalty (ice hockey).

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.

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[edit]

  • Being drunk or under the influence of any drug while on duty
  • Illegal drug use or alcohol at work
  • Fighting
  • Sexual harassment at workplace
  • Stealing
  • Subjecting people to discrimination
  • Falsifying time records
  • Falsification of accounts
  • Negligence
  • Bribery
  • Gross insubordination/ disobidence / Misappropriation
  • Conviction of a felony (in some states)
  • Illicit use

See also[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • B. R. Ghaiye's. Misconduct in Employment (Hardbound). EBC. ISBN 9789351450252. 


  1. ^ "Dishonesty in Medical Research" (PDF). Medico-legalsociety.org.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]