You’re normally reliable employee failed to show up for their regular shift. Concerned, you make a few calls and learn that they were arrested. Now you have to figure out what you should do.
It’s easy to get angry about the fact that you’re not only now down an employee for the day, but that you don’t know what the future holds for them. Instead of doing something you will regret, take a few calming breaths. Panicking won’t accomplish anything.
Don’t make a hasty judgment about the employee and terminate their employment. At this point, the only thing you know is that they’re in jail. You don’t know why. It’s entirely possible that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn’t do anything wrong. If that’s the case, the charges will likely be dropped and you won’t have to lose a good employee over a simple misunderstanding.
Don’t tell your other employees that their co-worker has been arrested. Simply let them know that the person isn’t coming in that day. It’s better for everyone if you wait until your employee is out of jail and back to work and can decide for themselves if they want everyone to know what happened. By resisting the urge to gossip, you avoid setting yourself up for a potential slander lawsuit.
The best thing about ignoring the desire to gossip is that your employee will appreciate your discretion and become intensely loyal to both you and your business.
Have A Meeting With Your Employee
While your employee doesn’t have to speak to their co-workers about what happened, and while you shouldn’t discuss the situation with the rest of your employees, you should have a sit down meeting with your employee and discuss their arrest. Hearing their side of the story allows you to decide how you want to proceed.
If you decide to keep your employee on, you need to remember that they’ll likely need some time off so that they can honor court appointments and meet with their lawyer. You will have to decide how they can make up for all the time they need to take off.
The most important thing to remember when one of your employees is arrested is that you don’t want to act out of a knee jerk reaction. Whether you decide to keep them on your payroll or decide to let them go, give yourself plenty of time to consider all of your options and the potential consequences of each one.