Gross Misconduct Law and Legal Definition

Misconduct means dereliction of duty or unlawful or improper behavior. Conduct is gross misconduct if it is so outrageous that it shocks the conscience. [Morales Cotte v. Cooperative de Ahorro y Credito Yabucoena, 77 F. Supp. 2d 237, 241 (D.P.R. 1999)]

Gross misconduct refers to behavior that can get a person dismissed straight away from work because it is serious enough and possibly criminal. Illegal drug use at work, being drunk while on duty , stealing , sexual harassment are all examples of gross misconduct.

Intentional behavior is needed to support a finding of gross misconduct. An act which deliberately or willfully threatens the employer's rules, or shows a repeated disregard for the employee's obligations to the employer or disregards the standard of behavior which an employer has a right to expect of its employee", constitutes gross misconduct. [Giles v. District of Columbia Dep't of Empl. Servs., 758 A.2d 522, 525 (D.C. 2000)]