lose your job because you were accused of rape.

Rosie - posted on 05/31/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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my husband has a coworker who was recently arrested on kidnapping and sexual assault charges. the company has fired him. do you feel that this should be legal?

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Amber - posted on 05/31/2011

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I would understand them firing him for being absent if he had no leave time to take.

Otherwise, I agree with Jodi and Kelly that he should have been suspend until charged and found guilty or confesses. Then, other employees are safe, but he has time to prove his innocence.

If it comes back that he is not guilty, then he would have been fired for no reason. That isn't fair to him.

Chana - posted on 05/31/2011

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No i do not think that he should have been fired. In this country we are innocent until PROVEN guilty

[deleted account]

Having read the other posts- Jodi, actually here in Queensland, a Criminal History will show anything you have been charged with even if there is no conviction recorded; and in general if you have been arrested you will have been charged. Also any checks on the Police systems will show- via a Custody Index (which Police are required to fill in for anyone who has been in custody for any reason, even if they were not charged, arrested or a suspect in a matter- one of the outcomes of the Fitzgerald Inquiry so Police can show how, where and when any person is in Custody and the fact that we have not assaulted them etc); if a person has been in Police Custody for any reason, as Police are also required to note every aspect of the custody and what occured (were they questioned and for how long and about what) Secondly, here at least, you cant charge someone with anything unless you have satisfied the elements of the offence to a certain standard or evidentiary requirements, otherwise Magistrates toos the matter and Police look foolish- so although you are right, a person in this situation (here at least) has not yet been proven guilty but a magistrate has at least been satisfied that they have a case to answer. And I know in alot of private sector jobs- as someone else mentioned, people are required to sign contracts with respect to being subject to Police action. I know my dad can be sacked just for being drunk and getting caught while at work, nevermind if Police become involved.

[deleted account]

Ummm... my cousin was actually recently abducted, raped and tortured by a friend of hers until she escaped from him 3 days after he drugged her and handcuffed her to his bed... He was fired upon his arrest and I say GOOD!

Of course, that's a different situation since I know my cousin isn't lying, but generally I tend to feel strongly about this.

Although, I do think that maybe suspension until after the trial is probably the better way to go... I'm just very sensitive to this subject at the moment because of my cousin...

Jane - posted on 05/31/2011

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I worked for a city government, and we signed a policy that included the point that if an employee causes embarrassment to the City the employee can be fired. That translated as if you were arrested for a crime or stopped for DUI, that was enough for you to lose your job if your department head judged your actions to have embarrassed the City.



I know that we did hold a job for one employee, who was arrested for violating his parole by visiting his wife in spite of a restraining order. He had a fairly menial job and nothing appeared in the paper. When his prison term ended he was allowed to come back. However, he didn't last. He attacked his wife again and was convicted of domestic violence.



Presumably the company has some sort of policy that governs what happens if an employee is arrested for a crime, although not convicted. Bear in mind, though, that the company's actions may be guided by the evidence that the police have.



You ask should it be legal. Probably the best way to go along with our premise that one is innocent until convicted is for companies to be permitted to suspend an employee without pay until such time as the employee has been judged to be innocent. However, in the US you can be fired for any reason that is not discriminatory of a protected class of persons (race, religion, etc.).



In addition, having to hold a job open for someone who may not come to trial for several years can be a burden on a company. Bear in mind though, that the company has a duty to protect the other employees. Thus, someone arrested for a violent crime against another person could pose a risk to other employees and the company would have a duty to fire him or her.



To quote what one business law expert says on the subject:



"3. Employees who are arrested, but not convicted, are generally, but not always, innocent until proven guilty.



When employers become aware of alleged criminal activity by an employee, there is an immediate impulse to remove them from the workplace. While private sector employees generally do not have federal constitutionally protected rights, employees who are disciplined or discharged due to alleged criminal activity that has seemingly nothing to do with work will declare “Aren’t I innocent until proven guilty?” The answer is, “it depends.”



Often times, allegations against the employee will have negative implications for the employer. Consider this hypothetical: a high level finance manager in a publicly traded company is arrested for a mortgage fraud scheme having nothing to do with their job or their employer. There is widespread publicity in the media concerning the arrest and each news article specifically mentions the name of her employer. Calls come into the company from the employer’s bankers and auditors asking “Is this really the same person?”



Given the job which this person occupies, the nature of allegations, and the adverse publicity brought upon the employer, termination prior to conviction is probably a reasonable course of action in states where there is no legal prohibition." (From http://www.tlnt.com/2011/02/02/getting-d... )



So unless the state in which the person is working says it is illegal, the company will generally fire someone upon arrest, especially if it is a scary crime like kidnapping and rape.



And actually, an arrest DOES show up on your record unless and until it is expunged.

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[deleted account]

My first thought is- it depends what his job entails? Childcare? Responsibility for disabled or dependent people? And what are the circumstances of the alleged offence? Is the victim a minor? Those kinds of things would influence- for me anyway- whether or not is should be fair and/or legal. Actually given the seriousness of the charges I'm surprised he got bail.

Alyssa - posted on 05/31/2011

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I agree Jane " Bear in mind, though, that the company's actions may be guided by the evidence that the police have."....sums it up for me. I'm sure the company would have had interactions with the police about such a serious crime where no doubt they would question everyone who knows the man.



Being a newspaper company they could hardly be seen supporting someone who is accused of such a crime given their public profile??!!



Then notion of "innocent until proven guilty" is used by courts...not necessarily by the general public.

[deleted account]

Yep. Go right ahead. They guy also has the right to sue for his job back if he is proven that the charges are false. Personally I wouldn't want to work with a suspected kidnapper or rapist.

Sherri - posted on 05/31/2011

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Yes I do!!!! First of all your are arrested and can't do your job so automatically that is grounds for termination.

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

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Alyssa, an arrest doesn't show up on a criminal record, because an arrest doesn't mean they are guilty. There is no criminal record until it has been through the courts.

Rosie - posted on 05/31/2011

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yeah i'm a little confused as to why he wasn't put on a suspension. it's like they are proving him guilty before he's found guilty. my husband prints the local newspaper, so do you think maybe it could be a conflict of interest? them having to write stories about one of their own employees? idk, but it seems pretty shitty to fire someone without ANY judge saying he's guilty yet.

Amber - posted on 05/31/2011

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@ Alyssa...hmm.. Intersting thought. I'm not sure about all jobs, but I had two interviews this week and both asked if I'd ever been convicted of a crime, not if I'd ever been arrested. (I haven't done either btw lol)
I would think it would have to be a conviction. If you're innocent why would it be held against you? I'm not sure though.

Alyssa - posted on 05/31/2011

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Depends on the type of work I guess. He has been arrested so would it show up on a criminal record? I don't know but if it does then many employers require a police check and if they knew he couldn't satisfy the check then they have every right to sack him.

Michelle - posted on 05/31/2011

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I'm sorry ladies - I go for the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing, but seriously... if I guy I worked with was criminally accused with sexual assault... if THEY didn't fire him, I'd quite.

My cousin-in-law's husband was "accused" of sexual assault on a 14 year old.... I haven't let him NEAR my house again... he denied denied denied until his preliminary hearing, then he confessed... ugh.

Christina - posted on 05/31/2011

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Depends on the job. If you can't show up to work and will be out for possibly a long time, of course you are going to get fired! The only way I keep my job if I'm arrested is if it is something that can not affect my nursing license.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/31/2011

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The job has the responsibility to protect it's workers. I am not sure if this particular person did it, but I would not stay at a job that kept a potential kidnapper and rapist. I would quit if they kept them for me and my families safety, and also I would question what kind of ethics the people who run the facility have.

If he is not guilty, and PROVES his innocence, maybe then the job will reconsider.

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

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Arrested doesn't mean guilty.....
I think he should only be placed on suspension.

Michelle - posted on 05/31/2011

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Um... yeah!! First of all, he was arrested so.... he's probably not able to show up to work - so there's one reason to fire him. 2ndly - KIDNAPPING AND SEXUAL ASSULT!?!?! Do you know what that would do to the company's insurance keeping him? That's a HUGE liability! It's not like it happened 10 years ago I'm assuming.... most likely all the other employees would end up taking a pay cut or a benefits cut or cuts would have to be made somewhere.

Personally - i'd be satisfied that your husband's company acted swiftly and responsibly to protect the safety of others.

Obviously I don't know the whole story - but I'd rather NOT have somebody working with me who could potentially rape and kidnap me or my childrend....

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