Workplace misconduct can significantly impact an organization’s dynamics and productivity, leading companies to conduct disciplinary hearings for investigation and resolution. This article explores the definition of misconduct, the testing process to establish it, the role of a chairperson in a disciplinary hearing, and available remedies for organizations and affected parties.

Defining Misconduct

Workplace misconduct encompasses inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour violating company policies, ethical standards, or legal regulations. Examples include harassment, theft, fraud, dishonesty, insubordination, and discrimination. Clear policies are crucial to guide employees on expected behaviour.

The Test for Misconduct

Establishing misconduct involves proving the accused employee’s breach of rules. This includes demonstrating their knowledge of the violated rules, the actual breach, and intent or negligence, depending on the nature of the misconduct.

Conducting a Disciplinary Hearing

The chairperson’s role in a disciplinary hearing is pivotal. Key considerations include maintaining impartiality, adhering to procedures outlined in company policies and employment laws, and meticulous documentation of proceedings.

Remedies for Misconduct

Upon establishing misconduct, organizations can implement various remedies:

Verbal or Written Warning: For less severe cases, issuing a warning outlining the misconduct and consequences for repeated violations.

Suspension: In serious cases, a temporary suspension allows for further investigations or gives the employee time for reflection.

Termination: Severe or repeated misconduct may warrant termination, following careful consideration of circumstances and adherence to employment laws.

Training and Counselling: Remedial measures such as additional training or counselling can address underlying issues contributing to misconduct.


Addressing workplace misconduct necessitates a fair and transparent disciplinary process. Establishing a clear definition of misconduct, applying a standard test, and maintaining integrity in disciplinary hearings are crucial. Upholding fairness and implementing appropriate remedies contribute to a healthy work environment, addressing misconduct justly and constructively. Contact an Attorney at SchoemanLaw Inc. for all your legal needs!