Your employees are your biggest asset and you need to know that you can trust them to work in the best interests of the business and represent the company in a certain way, even when they’re outside of work. That’s why it’s every bosses worst nightmare to get a phone call letting them know that one of their employees has been arrested. Often, people will have a knee jerk reaction to this and just dismiss that employee right away. The thing is, the situation isn’t always as simple as that and if you handle things wrong, you might end up losing a good member of staff for no reason.
Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in this situation but if the worst does happen and you have to deal with an employee that is in some kind of legal trouble, take these steps to make sure you don’t make any bad decisions.
Get Their Side
This is the first thing you should do because you can’t make any decisions until you know the full story. It doesn’t happen that often but sometimes, the police can make mistakes and that person might actually be falsely accused of something or there might be some reason why they ended up breaking the law. If there is some kind of misunderstanding and it isn’t their fault, you need to know about it. If they haven’t been put in jail, call them into work and ask them to meet with you. You’ll have to call the police station and ask to speak with them if they have been put in jail. Listen to their side of the story without any prejudices and see what their explanation is.
Put An End To Gossip
When an employee gets arrested it’s naturally going to be the talk of the office. All the other employees will be speculating about what happened and whether they’re guilty of whatever crime they’ve been accused of. All of that gossip can be damaging and will often get out of control. If it turns out that you decide to continue working with that employee, there could be tensions when they return to work if people have all sorts of false ideas about them. Just like any other business crisis, the best thing to do is call a meeting with everybody in the office and let them know what the situation is. That way, you can make sure that everybody has all of the facts up front and you can put an end to any gossip and rumours before it starts. If you find that people are still spreading false information about the situation, you may have to put a disciplinary process into action.
Help Them Make Bail
After you’ve spoken to that employee you need to start thinking about what you’re going to do next. If you genuinely think that they haven’t done anything wrong, or you’re happy to forgive and forget and have them carry on working with you then you might need to help them make bail. If they don’t have the cash then you’ll need to get in touch with a company like Charlotte Bail Bonds, LLC; they’ll be able to sort out a loan for the bail which your employee can then pay back at a later date. If you want them to get back to work right away then you’ll need to help them with the process.
Consider Suspending Them
If you aren’t sure what to think about the situation and you want to wait until the police have done their investigation and given their verdict, you need to decide what to do. When you can’t be sure whether that person is trustworthy anymore, you don’t necessarily want them working for you, especially if their alleged crime is something like fraud or theft. It could also damage your company’s public image if they are eventually found guilty of a crime and you’ve had them working for you the whole time. That’s why it’s often best to suspend them while the investigation is going on and then your back is covered. It also stops any tensions with the rest of your employees. If you are going to suspend them, you need to be clear with them about what this means. Tell them that you aren’t passing a judgment on them either way and you’re just waiting for the police to carry out their investigation. You should also let them know that you’re happy for them to come back to work afterwards if it is found that they are not guilty of anything. If you don’t explain this to them beforehand then they might worry that they’re being judged unfairly.
Taking Disciplinary Action
When the investigation is done and there is a verdict, you need to decide what to do if your employee has been found guilty. Some employers will think that dismissal is the only option but that’s not the case. It often depends on the crime that they’ve been convicted of. Any kind of violent crime should not be tolerated and getting rid of them is the right thing to do. The same goes for anything to do with fraud or theft, you can’t trust a person like that in your company anymore so you should dismiss them. But if they have been convicted of a small misdemeanor like a traffic offence, you don’t necessarily need to sack them. Even the best people make mistakes sometimes and it would be a shame to lose a good employee over one small mistake. You need to make sure that they understand that you aren’t going to tolerate that kind of behavior in the future so you should give them a warning.
Bringing Them Back To Work
Their return to work can be a difficult period. Even if you have put a stop to any gossip, some of the other employees might have reservations about working with that person again. You need to have a meeting before they return and explain your reasons for letting them return to work. If you can make sure that you’re all on the same page and the rest of your staff know that you are still taking disciplinary action even if you aren’t dismissing them.
This is a situation that nobody ever wants to find themselves in but sometimes, it happens. As long as you follow these steps, it doesn’t have to be the disaster that you think it is.