If an employee is not given a copy of their company policy, can they later be discharged for violating it?

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If an employee is not given a copy of their company policy, can they later be discharged for violating it?

I was arrested 3 months ago and was charged with CCW and Menacing, both misdemeanors. In court I pled no contest and was found guilty by the judge; I was sentenced to 100 hours community service and 1 year probation. I requested a schedule change from my employer so I could complete the hours. A week later they terminated me because I did not disclose to them the Menacing charge and because part of my contract states that I must inform them of all “dispositions and pending arrests”. Is this a legal discharge if I was not given a copy of the policy?

Asked on October 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The issue is what exactly does your employment contract say in regards to termination--either grounds for termination or process/procedure for termination. If you have a contract, as you appear to indicate, and the contract also prevents them from firing you in the way or for the reasons they did, then you could take legal action, based on your contract, to seek either compensation or reinstatement. However, except to the extent that a contract prevents termination, employees may be terminated at will by their employers--even for violating policies of which they were unaware. So the issue of the legality of this termination will depend on what protections you were afforded by an employment contract.

 


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