Your Company’s Top Performer is Arrested: How to Handle this Delicate Situation
A top performer at a company can get into trouble in their personal lives. At a small business, a top performer not being able to come to work can cripple productivity in their department. Arrests are not all created equal as a simple drug possession charge is far different than being accused of sexual assault. The one aspect you have to keep in mind is the safety of the other employees in the office. Below are tips to handle a top performer being arrested for something that will not put other employees in danger.
Help Your Employee Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Finding an experienced felony lawyer can make the difference between time in jail and pleading a charge down. The last thing anyone wants is a person that could thrive outside of jail to be sent there due to a lack of quality legal representation. In the case of a drug arrest, there are programs that can be used to replace jail time. Judges will work with defendants that are making an effort at improving themselves. Repeat offenses are not going to be met with the same forgiveness which is something to keep in mind.
Remote Working Opportunities
There could be multiple days that your employee might need to attend court. Allowing them to work remotely can help them out immensely instead of having to use their PTO for a proceeding that will only take an hour or two. This will not be possible in all types of business so consider allowing them to take a sick day. You want a top performer to feel like the company was there during their time of need. Employee retention is especially important when it comes to all-star employees that could thrive in any role at any company.
Make Sure to Hold Them Accountable
The one aspect that you have to keep in mind as the owner of a small business is keeping the name of the business as one that is reputable. Employees that are arrested frequently can be a PR nightmare as many jails across the country ask for personal place of employment. If you have terminated another employee for a similar arrest then your hands are tied. You cannot provide preferential treatment as it can be seen as a form of discrimination if all employees are not held to the same standard.
Asking for the Police Report
Your employee does not have to provide you with their arrest report. This is their private information but it is essential to ask for it, as your employee could be telling a far different story. There are plenty of charges that can be hard to decipher when you are just looking up arrest records or mugshots online. Putting in the procedures to follow after an arrest in the employee handbook or pre-employment paperwork is essential.
Top employees being arrested can be a nightmare for a small business as this person impacts the company far more than any employee at a large corporation. Each case needs to be handled carefully and within the laws of the state you reside in.