When you are hiring a new employee, it’s important that you conduct a thorough background check to make sure that they do not have a criminal past. But even though you have conducted all of the right background checks, you can never be completely sure about somebody.
It’s not a situation that any employer wants to deal with, but there is always the chance that one of your employees will end up in legal trouble, and that can cause problems for you.
It’s important that you deal with this sensitive situation in the right way so you can do what is best for your business, and also for the employee in question.
Most business owners are completely unprepared for the situation because they never expect it to happen, and they make bad decisions that damage their business. If one of your employees is in legal trouble, this is the best way to deal with it.
Don’t Jump To Conclusions
When you find out that one of your employees has been charged with a crime, it is easy to jump conclusions and decide that you are going to distance yourself from the situation as soon as possible. Many employers make the mistake of firing people right away before they know what the full situation is.
This is a big mistake because, if the employee is found to be not guilty of the crime for some reason, they may decide to take legal action against you for unfair dismissal if they are able to. These kinds of lawsuits can be so damaging to your business, and if it turns out that the employee didn’t actually do anything wrong, you will lose a good team member for no reason.
In many cases, the employee will be guilty of the crime that they have been charged with and you will need to take action. However, there is the chance that there has been some kind of mix up and the employee was not involved in any wrongdoing.
That’s why it’s so important that you wait until you know the full picture before you decide how to proceed.
Meet With The Employee
In a lot of cases, you cannot simply sack somebody because they have been charged with an offence unless it is a very serious one. Unless it is written into their contract, they may not even be obliged to tell you about the charge, so it’s worth revisiting contracts when hiring people in the future.
If you do find out that an employee has been charged with a crime, you should meet with them and find out more about the situation. If they are in jail, they may need financial assistance so they can work with a company like A Be Out Bail Bonding so they can pay their bail.
If you feel that your employee is innocent and they are in need of help, you need to decide whether you are willing to do that.
When you meet with them, get their side of the story and discuss whether the charge is going to affect their ability to do their job in any way. If they have been charged with a serious crime and there are restrictions on their travel, for example, this could impact their job.
Stay On Top Of Gossip
Workplace gossip is a big issue and it can have a big impact on productivity in the workplace. If an employee has been charged with a crime and gossip starts spreading around the office, relationships between employees will suffer and it can cause a lot of resentment.
When people don’t know the full story and they start spreading rumors, things can quickly spiral out of control and the employee may be accused of things that they have not even been charged with.
It is so important that you stay on top of gossip to avoid this, so only inform people that absolutely need to know about the situation. HR may need to know, but make it clear that they are not to share the information with anybody else in the company, and you shouldn’t either.
If the employee is not in the office for reasons related to their charge and their coworkers ask about it, you should just say that they are taking some personal time.
Decide What Action To Take
Once you have all of the facts, you need to decide what action to take. If your employee has been found guilty of a serious crime that affects their ability to do their job and may make other employees feel unsafe around them, you should terminate them immediately.
If you keep them on even though it is having a negative impact on other people in the office, you will damage your business. If the employee is yet to go to court, you need to proceed carefully because terminating them before their trial can land you in some trouble.
If they have been charged with a serious offence, like murder, you can reasonably terminate them based on the charge. But if they have only been charged with a minor offence, they may have grounds to sue you if you terminate them right away.
If they are going to be involved in a lengthy court battle, it may be best to suspend them for a while. Having them around the office while proceedings are still going on can cause a lot of tension, and if they are found guilty, it may have a negative impact on your public image because you did not take any action.
If an employee is found not guilty and you want them to return to work, it’s important that you handle it in the right way. Make sure that you speak with the rest of your employees and put clear guidelines in place, so there is no gossip when they come back.
No employer ever wants to find themselves in this situation, but it can happen so it’s important that you know how to deal with it if it does.