Running a company from an HR perspective is going to be a challenge. There are so many different situations that can arise that you have to handle in a legally-compliant way. Taking the time to figure out situations before they arise can be done with modifications to the employee handbook. Arrests are going to happen but remember the differences in charges and convictions. A case could be dropped for a lack of evidence with an employee being completely exonerated. Other cases can lead to convictions for lesser charges due to plea deals worked out by legal representation. Below are tips to handle an arrest that has occurred with a top employee at a company.
Offering a tip on experienced lawyers in the area can be important. A lot of people arrested for the first time are overwhelmed as they do not know what to do next. Besides offering recommendations, you can require some sort of classes like that of anger management or substance abuse counseling. The truth is that some people need help and their coworkers might know them better than anyone due to the time spent with them. Treating employees like people rather than a revenue number can make such a difference in employee loyalty.
The Meeting About The Arrest With The Employee
Meeting with an employee to get their side of the story is always important. There are cases of mistaken identity or even arrests due to being near a crime committed but not being affiliated with anyone committing the crime. The arrest report can be quite clear in what happened although body camera footage is available to defendants and their legal team after a period after the arrest was done.
Do not be accusatory or ask for details that an employee’s lawyer told them to keep private. Awaiting a conviction is a possibility for termination in the future but charges do differ immensely. Misdemeanor arrests might be able to be looked over in some cases. You can be arrested for unpaid parking tickets leading to a suspended driver’s license. Then there are charges like fraud and theft which cannot be ignored as the person could be having issues with substance abuse. You do not want the company’s name tarnished due to someone that has been accused of certain crimes multiple times.
Termination If Another Employee Was Fired For Similar Charges
Employees that were terminated for an arrest or conviction need to be kept in mind. You cannot keep a star employee that was arrested for the same or similar charges. This could result in some sort of discrimination case, which all HR departments want to avoid. There are also charges that could leave a company liable if they keep an employee charged with a certain crime that could result in other employees being in danger.
HR professionals are going to have to tread lightly when a star employee has been arrested. There should be a fair process as not all that are arrested are even remotely guilty.