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Employee Charged with a Crime… Now What?

Thu, Oct 1, 2015

Madison, Wisconsin

Your credit union can find itself in a difficult situation when an employee has been arrested and charged with a crime. Can you terminate the employee, or should you suspend the employee until the case is concluded?

“You should proceed with caution. Making a rash decision can have significant legal consequences,” warns Richard A. Coad, a shareholder at Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek, S.C. “Take the proper steps, and document along the way, to assist in the defense of any claim of wrongful termination or retaliation.”

There may be very good reasons why your credit union would want to terminate the arrested employee. You may be worried about the credit union’s reputation, the impact on employee morale, or even employee safety. However, promptly terminating this employee may subject your credit union to a wrongful termination suit. “Using the arrest as the sole or deciding reason to terminate the employee is not a good idea,” counselled Coad. “Instead, prepare in advance and plan on how to handle the situation, including what steps you’ll take to protect your workplace.”