People get fired or terminated for a variety of reasons. While most are legitimate, some are not. One thing that can get you fired pretty quickly is criminal behavior off the job. While some people are of the opinion that what you do in your personal life is your own business, many employers beg to differ. While employees have an individual right to privacy, employers have rules about off-site activities. Not only can a criminal act — especially a violent one — land the employee in jail, it can also provide unwanted publicity for the employer.
What is criminal behavior?
Criminal behavior covers a broad spectrum of activities. While there are some minor things like getting a ticket for a traffic violation criminal, it’s hardly something that will land you on the unemployment line. But, if an employee commits a violent crime such as a robbery, assault, burglary or some other extreme felony, they could be fired. It also depends upon the type of job you do as well. For instance, if you’re a truck driver who picks up a DUI, you will likely be terminated. Employees should also understand that employers have a duty to protect their employees. If an employee is arrested for committing a violent crime — even if they get bail — it is highly unlikely that an employer would want them to step foot back on the property.
If you feel that your firing was illegal what can you do?
If an employee is fired for criminal activity, the chances are slim that you can do anything to get your job back. In most cases, employers will cover such issues in the employee handbook. But you may also contact your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to find out your options. You can also see if an attorney can help. If your company has a union, you may contact the union representative. There is still no guarantee that you will get your job back.
The bottom line is if an employer has set in stone rules about criminal behavior, the employee may not have much recourse. Also, about 25 states are right to work. This means an employer can pretty much let you go for any reason. Do your homework and find out your rights under the law. But the best way not to get fired for criminal behavior is NOT to commit a criminal act.