Gross misconduct in the workplace is something that can be interpreted differently among individuals. The actual definition of gross misconduct is often left up to the courts to decide, because it becomes a legal matter. However, it is possible to learn more about this type of workplace action and how it is classified. Gross misconduct in the workplace normally applies to discrimination or financial fraud. It is a subjective term that has to be characterized further to offer more clarity. In basic terms, gross misconduct is any objectionable act that is done with intent and can’t be proven to be a mistake.
Common Characteristics of Gross Misconduct
Since there is no formal definition of this term, it leaves it open to interpretation which often results in confusion. The accepted classifications for gross misconduct are normally identified as a disregard for the safety of others, deliberate act of violence or intention of defrauding a company. This means that you must have intention with your action that can be proven for gross misconduct to be in play. It is typical that simply not performing on the job or minor infractions are not considered to be classified as gross misconduct in the workplace. This is often seen as the most severe infraction and comes with the steepest penalty.
Behavioral Gross Misconduct
This type of misconduct in the workplace often involves violent acts taken against others based on gender, race, religion or some other distinguishable factor. This type of behavior must be proven to violate some type of anti-discrimination law for it to be classified as gross misconduct in the workplace. Many of these cases are reviewed by the courts and punished accordingly.
Gross Misconduct Vs. Negligence
When it comes to gross misconduct in the workplace, the difference between willful and negligent come into play. Gross misconduct is normally only attributed to actions that can be proven to be willful and not simply negligent. This involves the transfer of money and the transactions must be proven to be done with intent. That is the only way that they can be seen as gross misconduct.
Gross misconduct is not something that is always easy to determine, which is why this is often left up to the courts. Most issues in the workplace that stem from proposed gross misconduct are taken to court before a ruling is made and a punishment is set.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.