If you are a New Jersey worker who has been accused of a serious crime, you may be facing a lot of challenges in your personal and professional life. Being arrested and going through the defense system is already traumatic enough, but you may also have to deal with the fallout of these criminal charges in your workplace.
How can you protect your rights and reputation as an employee while fighting for your innocence in court? How can you just cope with the stress of it all?
Know your rights
Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, your employer may have different options to deal with your situation. Some employers may suspend you without pay, terminate your employment or take other disciplinary actions. However, they cannot discriminate against you based on your arrest or pending charges alone.
You have the right to a fair and impartial investigation and due process before any adverse action is taken against you. You also have the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding your criminal case. Your employer cannot disclose or discuss your situation with anyone who does not have a legitimate business need to know.
Be honest and cooperative
While you have the right to privacy and confidentiality, you also must inform your employer about your arrest or pending charges if they affect your ability to perform your job duties or pose a risk to the safety or reputation of the company. You should be honest and cooperative with your employer and explain your situation professionally and respectfully.
You should also follow any policies or procedures that your employer has regarding employee conduct and discipline. If possible, you should try to maintain a positive and productive relationship with your employer and co-workers while your case is pending.
Being accused of a serious crime can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. You may feel stressed, anxious, depressed, angry or isolated. You may also face stigma or judgment from others who do not know the facts of your case. It is important to seek support from people who care about you and can offer you comfort and encouragement. You may also benefit from professional counseling or therapy to help you cope.
Being a New Jersey worker who is accused of a serious crime is not easy, but it does not mean that your life is over. You can still fight for your innocence and protect your rights as an employee while dealing with the fallout of these criminal charges in your personal and professional life. By following these tips, you can hopefully overcome this challenge and move forward with confidence and dignity.