resolve workplace conflict

8 Common Disciplinary Issues That Might Be Raised At A Hearing

The requirements of modern workplace have evolved. In order to be compete in the market, businesses have adopted a diverse workforce that can deliver results in the international market.

With a diverse workforce, conflicting personalities is highly likely. This leaves room for arguments, workplace disruption and disciplinary actions.

Disciplinary action is the aftermath of employee misconduct.  Employee misconduct is distinguished by its two types: general misconduct and gross misconduct.

A general misconduct infraction is any act of harm to the company/employees performed unintentionally—such as tardiness, subordination, or a crude comment.

Gross misconduct is any illegal act performed by employee. The act is punishable by law and usually leads to immediate dismissal. These include theft, fraud, sexual harassment, drug abuse, and etc.

National Business Ethics Survey conducted in 2013, found that around 41 percent of American workforce registered misconduct in the workplace.

The HR department has to deal with misconduct and grievance process for an organization. They need to investigate the complaint and allot a reasonable punishment for the act. But before they decide to issue a warning or take extreme steps like dismissal, HR needs to investigate the matter in a proper hearing. For your reference, here is a list of issues that needs to be discussed in a hearing.

Poor Or Under Performance

Several factors can keep the employee from performing at his/her full capability. This can be due to poor time keeping or a result of poor subordination of work.

The disciplinary committee will try to establish the reason behind poor performance, and whether the employee can prove his/her capabilities in the future.

Poor Time Management

Workplace is bound by timeliness of it individual; one late comer can delay the workflow for the entire team and cost the company. If poor time management is a constant issue, this issue will most likely be raised in a disciplinary meeting.


Every organization allots a certain number of personal day, vacation time, and sick leaves for each employee.

Employees need to get approval regarding their absence beforehand, and hand over their work responsibilities to the substitute for their allotted time-off.

When an employee is absent without manager’s authorization, it is considered as an offence, which can be addressed in a disciplinary committee.

Improper use of work email and abuse of social media

Employees need to strike a balance between their breaks and work-hours.

If office email is being used for personal reasons, or working hours are utilized searching for a new job on LinkedIn, the manager can take up this issue to the disciplinary committee.

Harassment, violence or bullying in workplace

These offenses are severe in nature and are usually followed by a dismissal. Bullying and harassment can further lead to violence at workplace and needs to be dealt with immediately.

Fraud and theft

Discrepancies in accounting figures, bribes, or sharing confidential information with outsiders is a criminal offense. Companies can dismiss an employee without a notice, if evidence for fraud and theft is found.

Safety and health of employees

Employers are in charge of the health and safety of their employees. To make this possible, certain set of guidelines need to be followed by everyone. Employees who fail to adhere to these safety guidelines endanger lives of other people around them. A disciplinary committee can also investigate this matter.

Substance abuse

Use of alcohol or drug during work hours is against the law. The company can ask the employee to get tested; the issue can be raised in a disciplinary hearing.

Investigation of employee misconduct can be a complex process. You need to be firm in your stance and make decisions regarding disciplinary actions and employee grievance. If you’re having trouble dealing with the investigation process, call 1-877-803-3486.

DFRI, a human resource management consulting firm, provides comprehensive and strategic solutions, resolve workplace conflict, and HR outsourcing services.

Lisa Scholfield

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