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Should I Tell My Employer About Getting Arrested?

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Should I Tell My Employer About Getting Arrested?

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you're firedTelling Texas Employers about Arrests

When someone is arrested in Texas, they may wonder if they have to tell their boss or employer about the incident. Naturally, most people might feel nervous about telling their employer about an arrest, especially if the arrest was for a charge like DWI or assault. They may fear that their employer will view them as a criminal and immediately fire them.

As it turns out, Texas is an “at-will” employment state. Essentially, this means that an employee can be fired at any time, for virtually any reason. Even hard-working, honest employees can be fired for a minor reason in Texas. This fact may make people even more nervous about reporting an arrest to their boss. Before making a decision on whether or not to tell an employer about an arrest, it’s important to consider a few facts.

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Required Arrest Reporting

In some cases, an employee may be required to report an arrest. For example, a truck driver who is arrested for DWI may be required to report this arrest to their employer. Usually, this will be due to a policy that the employer has in place for their employees who operate company vehicles. In many cases, a person who employs vehicle drivers can be held liable for any vehicle accidents caused by that company’s drivers.

However, not all employers require their employees to report arrests. This kind of information can usually be found in several places:

  • The employee handbook
  • The company code of conduct
  • On the company’s website
  • In the company’s human resources department

An employee who is arrested and does not report the incident despite company policy may be immediately fired. However, what can happen to a person who is not required to report any arrests?

Choosing Not To Report an Arrest

Employees who are not contractually obligated may choose to keep news of the incident to themselves. However, if the employer finds out about the incident and learns that the employee neglected to mention the arrest, the employer may fire the employee. Remember, Texas is an “at-will” employment state so employers can fire workers for almost any reason.

Reporting Arrests to Employers

In some cases, honesty may be the best policy. If an employee chooses to come forward and report their arrest, the employer may be understanding of the situation. After all, it is up to the employer’s discretion how to handle the incident.

It may be better in the long run to be honest with an employer. The employer may not be happy about the arrest but he or she might be angrier if their employee kept the information secret.

Whatever happens, the best first step after being arrested is to hire a lawyer.

Legal Defenses

An attorney might be able to help a client explain an arrest to the client’s employer. The employer will likely appreciate the information as the case progresses. In many cases, the employer will be concerned with protecting the image of the company and avoiding increased insurance costs.

A lawyer may also be able to help a client keep his or her job after an arrest. For example, a person who is arrested for DWI might face license restrictions. An attorney may be able to help such a person keep their job by helping them get:

No matter what a person has been arrested for, hiring a lawyer is a great strategy. This may help an employee keep his or her job and, when the case is over, an attorney may be able to help a client seal or expunge their record so that they can get new jobs in the future.

If you have been arrested for a crime in Houston and surrounding areas, contact The Law Office of Greg Tsioros. We can help protect your rights and preserve your freedom. Call 832-752-5972 or email today for a free, confidential consultation.

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