What’s the difference between discipline for poor performance and discipline for misconduct?
Generally, misconduct is the failure to follow a workplace rule (for example, tardiness and absenteeism) and poor performance is the failure of an employee to do his or her job at an acceptable level. However, in certain circumstances an agency might deem poor performance to be severe enough to constitute misconduct.

The main difference is in the burden on the agency bringing such charges if you should appeal a personnel action against you.

In a performance case, the agency must show only “substantial evidence” that you have failed to meet performance standards, after providing an opportunity to improve. That is the degree of evidence that a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion, even though other reasonable persons might disagree.

2021 Digital Almanac

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