What Constitutes Misconduct during employment?

Misconduct’ according to Black’s Law Dictionary is defined as

A transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction from duty, unlawful behavior, willful in character…synonymous with misdeed, misbehavior, delinquency etc.’

Schedule 1 Clause 14(3) of Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central rules 1946 framed under Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 provides for certain acts and omissions as employment misconduct.

These acts or omissions include

  • willful insubordination
  • disobedience
  • theft
  • fraud
  • dishonesty
  • habitual negligence
  • riotous or disorderly behavior during work hours at the establishment.
  • Not just loss to the employer but also disturbance of general peace and tranquillity of the organization, hindrance to work etc. are all factors that determine whether a particular act or omission is constitutes misconduct or not.

Over the years, several decisions have been passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on different matters relating to employment misconduct in India and subsequent termination. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Remington Rand Of India Ltd V/s The Workmen [1970 AIR 1421] held that employment misconduct can be of three types;

  1. Technical misconduct where there is no sign of indiscipline
  2. Misconduct relating to the damage to property of the employer in which the court held that the amount of gratuity forfeited will be equivalent to the amount of loss.
  3. Serious misconduct, which includes acts of violence, actions against the management or other employees, riotous or disorderly behavior inside or outside the place of employment etc.

Employment misconduct in India, therefore includes any act that comes within Schedule 1, Clause 14(3) of Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central rules 1946 or the standing orders of the establishment framed keeping in mind the needs and requirement of the establishment.

Visit our ‘Notes & Opinions – ‘LABOUR LAWS IN INDIA RELATING TO MISCONDUCT, INQUIRY & TERMINATION’ section to read more about Misconduct.

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