Grievance and Disciplinary Issues: How to Deal with Misconduct at Work

Unfortunately, a variety of grievance and disciplinary issues can happen at any workplace. If you are dealing with misconduct at work, check out the following advice on how to handle it.

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Harassment at the workplace involves being bullied or receiving unwanted behavior due to your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief, or gender reassignment.

Another form of harassment you could find yourself dealing with is sexual harassment, which like the other forms of harassment, could take the form of physical or verbal harassment.

If you find yourself experiencing harassment at the workplace, your first step should be talking to your manager or employer to try to resolve the issue. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, you can raise a formal grievance.

As with other grievance and disciplinary issues, it is also worth seeking advice from experienced employment law attorneys, such as Haeggquist & Eck.


If your employer stops you from applying for a promotion because of your race, the act is classified by law as discrimination.

Of course, discrimination is not just about race. If your employer treats you unfairly because of your race, age, gender, gender reassignment, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity status, religion or belief, or sexual orientation, you are legally being discriminated against.

If you find yourself being discriminated against at the workplace, follow the same steps as for being harassed.


When employers punish employees without cause, such as demoting them, firing them, disciplining them, reassigning them, or reducing their salaries, it is known as retaliation.

Sometimes cases of retaliation are straightforward, such as when an employer fires a worker with no cause. Other times, retaliation can be subtler and more difficult to prove.

If you believe your employer is retaliating against you, speak to your supervisor, manager, or human resources representative first. You can then gain advice on how best to proceed with your grievance.

Indeed, your grievance could be found to be unwarranted. For instance, your employer could have a very good reason for moving you to another department. But if your employer cannot give a legitimate reason for his or her actions, you are being retaliated against.

If your employer takes no action to resolve the issue, take your concerns to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or your local fair employment agency; or seek advice from a lawyer with experience and expertise in retaliation cases.

Pay Discrimination

Surely, in the twenty-first century, unequal pay should not exist. Unfortunately, it does.

Pay discrimination in which men earn more than women is still an issue in some companies and industries.

Furthermore, pay discrimination is a rather complex issue because pay discrimination laws use outdated language that excludes other gender identities. In some states, pay discrimination even exists because of ethnicity.

However, the law dictates that all workers doing substantially similar work for a company must be paid the same.

Pay discrimination is not just about salaries. It can exist when your employer gives more bonuses to men than to women and people with other gender identities or when an employer uses a point-based system and ends up docking more points for women than men, for example.

If you are a victim of unequal pay, in every state you have the right to complain to your employer, file charges with a government agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and sue by filing a lawsuit.


Whatever type of grievance and disciplinary issue you are dealing with, you need to tell someone. Your first port of call should be human resources or someone in a managerial position.

If the issue remains unresolved, you can contact an official organization like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and seek advice from a lawyer.

Once you know your legal standing, you can take the appropriate legal action.


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