What to Do if an Employee is Arrested
While you might never have to deal with an employee who has been arrested or convicted of a crime, it is essential an employer identifies the best course of action to protect the workplace, employees, and the public. Although they may have the best DUI attorney and have hired professionals like Romano Law, it is vital to have general rules in place so your business is prepared if an employer is arrested, charged or convicted.
Employer Actions Upon Arrest
In some cases, you may not have to fire an employee for an offense. If a member of staff has been arrested for a serious crime, but is yet to be convicted, you can choose to suspend the employee with or without pay, offer reinstatement upon acquittal, or you can terminate an employee’s contract upon conviction.
The Relation of the Job Against the Offense
As an employer, you have a responsibility to both the public and remaining employees to protect their safety, which is why you must weigh up the offense against their job role. For example, if they have been charged with a DUI and are required to drive a vehicle for work, you will have no other choice but to terminate or suspend their employment contract. If they are innocent, they can hire the best DUI attorney to ensure their acquittal.
While an employee is innocent until proven guilty, you must live up to your responsibility and dismiss an employee if they have the potential to cause harm to the public. For example, if the member of staff works with the public, but has been arrested for assault, and they may have contact with either employees or the public in an isolated area, you have a responsibility to suspend or dismiss an employee.
An employer will want to retain their best employees, which means you may want to give a member of staff the benefit of the doubt when facing a possible conviction. If you want to be understanding to their circumstances, you can handle their arrest or incarceration as an absence.
So, if an employee has not used their allotted absences over the course of the year, you can allow them to use the time away as a vacation time. Meaning, instead of focusing on losing their job, they can focus on their case with their DUI attorney.
What’s more, you could offer an employee the opportunity to apply for leave without pay, which could be ideal for an employee who faces imprisonment for the offense, as they can return to work after their release.
As stated, an employer is responsible for the safety of their employees and customers. It may therefore be a wise move to have mandatory rules in place, requiring all employees to:
- Report an arrest to the employer
- Submit a police report or documentation
- Comply with the above requirements within a select time-frame
If an employer fails to do any of the above, it is important to state that this could result in the instant termination of their employment contract.