Can an employer demand that an employee to provide all details regarding a possible criminal charge that is not work related?

UPDATED: May 31, 2011

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Can an employer demand that an employee to provide all details regarding a possible criminal charge that is not work related?

If I am waiting for a summons to court for a hearing that may result in criminal charges being filed against me. My employer found out because a police officer contacted them to verify my employment and to inform them that they plan on charging me. Am I required to provide the details of my case to my employer as well as any resulting court actions prior to be formally charged and/or convicted? This criminal charge has nothing to do with my job.

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the thing:  I can perfectly well understand that you wish to keep things private but your employer now knows that something is up as he or she has been contacted by the police.  Once charges are filed and you are arrested the matter will become public record and then you will have no control over the situation.  It may be better for you to go and present the matter to you employer in the best light it can be by explaining what happened and your side of the story.  The arrest record and/or indictment will not be the facts most favorable to you.  And you are wrong that a criminal charge has nothing to do with your jib.  Employers want employees that they can trust and depend on an that will not bring bad press to their company.  So think about the situation as a whole and get yourself a lawyer. 

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 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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