Discover the meaning of employee misconduct, how it is determined and related examples.

Certain principles and rules govern workplaces. When employees or the executives contravene the set regulations, it is referred to as misconduct. However, employee misconduct definition can encompass a list of behaviors, which go against the expectations of the employer. Below we will examine the methods used to assess misconduct of the employees and provide examples for easier understanding:


Determining employee misconduct

When an employee is caught, or they are reported having committed misconduct, the organization does not dismiss them immediately. However, the employer must consider the legislative framework that guides the employment relationship, before taking any disciplinary action on the employee. Then, they should carry out an investigation to understand the misconduct committed, and the best actions to take. There are two types of misconduct namely culpable and non-culpable. The employee is not in control of the latter, and it is difficult to correct. On the other hand, culpable conduct can be regulated by the employee.

Some of the culpable conducts include stealing certain equipment, stationery, funds or other materials, which belong to the company. It also includes employees discriminating others at the work place, and inflicting harm on their co-workers. There are other forms such as leaving workstations to go out to attend to personal matters. Current types of employee misconduct include inappropriate usage of emails and internet and distribution of critical information belonging to the company.

For the employer to take disciplinary measures, they need to assess the context in which the employee demonstrated the poor behavior. In most cases, they are likely to punish the offender using the provisions offered by various company policies. Besides, in most employment contracts, a clause allows the employer to act on the employee’s misconduct.

Some forms of misconduct can be corrected internally. For example, an employee who has lifted a few items from the inventory room may only need to reimburse the amount of money equivalent to the value of items. Sometimes, employees are given warning letters, such as in cases of punctuality while in other circumstances, they might be dismissed. However, some cases such as where an employee harasses a colleague sexually might need to be taken to the courts. When using the policy manuals on harassment, an employer should be able to tell if the case needs a legal action or not. Additionally, cases of unlawful distribution of organization’s data by an employee may have to be handled externally, in particular, if the misconduct has caused the employer significant damages.

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