What are my rights if I was arrested at work for something I am innocent of and lost my job before i even had a chance to defend myself in court?

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What are my rights if I was arrested at work for something I am innocent of and lost my job before i even had a chance to defend myself in court?

The arresting officer told my supervisor that I was guilty of stealing $16k and I was fired. I have not even gone to court yet. Can an arresting officer tell my supervisor info such as this? Damage is done but I would like to know if I have any recourse?

Asked on May 13, 2014 under Personal Injury, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You do not have any recourse against your employer, unless you had an employment contract, the terms of which your firing violated. Otherwise, without a contract, all employment is "employment at will" and an employer may fire you at any time, for any reason, even rumors (let alone a police officer's statement) of an arrest.

Being arrested is public record: there is no recourse for the officer divulging it, since anyone may state anything in the public record, unless specifically barred from doing so by a court order.

IF you can show that the arrest was completely baseless and was not merely mistaken but was motivated by malice (e.g. the officer had a grudge against you and faked the evidence), then you may be able to sue the government for false arrest, abuse of process, and the like. If you think this may be the case, consult with an attorney about the situation.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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