In this Case Update series, I share summaries of recent Malaysian court decisions to explore the current approach taken by the courts when deciding on employment-related issues. You can find all the posts in the series by clicking here, including case updates on other legal areas by TheMalaysianLawyer co-founder Lee Shih.
Misconduct is one of the reasons which would qualify as “just cause” for an employer to dismiss an employee.
However, it’s not straightforward to pin down an exact definition of what constitutes “misconduct”. Even in instances where actions can be broadly categorised as misconduct, there is often confusion as to whether —
- a misconduct is serious enough to justify dismissal instead of a lighter sanction; and
- the standards to be applied to misconduct in the context of employment law are the same as those in respect of criminal wrongdoing.
This potential for confusion was illustrated in a recent case dealing with an employee dismissal for misconduct which went from the Industrial Court (“IC”) through to the High Court (“HC”), Court of Appeal (“COA”), and was ultimately decided by the Federal Court (“FC”). The issues were fully considered in the recent grounds of judgment of the FC dated 8 January 2018 in Akira Sales & Services (M) Sdn Bhd v Nadiah Zee binti Abdullah and Another Appeal (Federal Court Civil Appeal Nos. 01-15-05/2016 and 01-16-05/2016).