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A misconduct is a legal term meaning a 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). Gross misconduct can lead to dismissal, (e.g. stealing or sexual harassment).


  • "Misconduct" is where something is seen as unacceptable but is not a criminal offence e.g. deceptive manipulation.
  • "Gross misconduct" 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

  • Being drunk on duty
  • Illegal drug use at work
  • Fighting
  • Harassing people
  • Stealing
  • Subjecting people to racial abuse
  • Cursing/Swearing at the officials in sports
  • Cutting school (Truancy)

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