Being arrested for a crime can cause a severe ripple effect throughout a person’s life, including their job. It is not unusual for a criminal defendant’s job to be in jeopardy because of an arrest.
Your employer might be able to fire you after you are arrested in New Jersey. Whether you are terminated from your job depends on the unique factors of your situation and your employer’s preferences. People with certain jobs must maintain a clean criminal record. For example, teachers are likely to lose their job if they are arrested for a serious crime. On top of that, being arrested is not protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, you might have a case if the firing is tied to employment discrimination under Title VII. Perhaps the best way to keep your job after being arrested is to fight the charges and avoid a conviction.
If you were recently arrested and are worried about your job, speak to our New Jersey criminal defense lawyers for help immediately. For a free case review, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.
How Being Arrested Might Affect your Employment in New Jersey
People arrested in New Jersey are not explicitly protected from being fired. It is possible that an employer can terminate an employee if the employee is arrested for a crime. However, the outcome of the situation depends on many different factors. You should speak to our Atlantic County criminal defense lawyers about your case to determine if your job is protected.
While you certainly could be fired, you might not be. Whether you are fired largely depends on the nature of your job and whether the alleged criminal activity might interfere with your ability to work. For example, someone working with children might be fired if they are arrested for child endangerment because they cannot be trusted to keep the kids in their care safe.
On top of that, New Jersey is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can terminate employees for any reason they see fit so long as that reason is not discriminatory or legally prohibited (e.g., employers cannot fire people for their race, religion, or ethnicity).
Your employer’s discretion is a big factor in whether you can keep your job after an arrest. Perhaps your employer will be understanding and look the other way while you privately handle your legal problems. On the other hand, your employer might be less tolerant and decide you should leave your job until you get your case squared away.
You might also be fired if you were arrested at work. This is even more likely if you allegedly committed the crime in question at work. If you or the arresting officers make a scene during an arrest at your place of employment, your employer could potentially argue that it hurts the business’ image or puts customers at risk. Especially if your employer was the one who called the police and reported your alleged crime in the first place, they are unlikely to keep you on after the arrest.
People with Certain Jobs Are More Likely to be Fired After an Arrest in New Jersey
People in different professions might be treated more harshly by their employers if they are arrested. In some instances, the defendant’s field of work is rather sensitive, and having someone with pending criminal charges on the job does not look good to clients. In other lines of work, criminal records are prohibited, and people could lose professional licensing and be unable to keep their jobs. The best way to keep your job after being arrested is to fight the charges with the help of a skilled lawyer.
Take teachers, for example. Since teachers work with young children daily, they are expected to maintain a clean criminal record and avoid any illegal activity. If a teacher is arrested for a crime, their job might be in jeopardy. Parents tend to be very uncomfortable with having someone with pending criminal charges take care of the kids, and school administrators might fire the teacher or place them on leave until the case is resolved.
People in the legal field are also held to higher standards. For example, attorneys must maintain clean criminal records and avoid criminal charges to keep their law licenses. Attorneys arrested and convicted of certain crimes might see their licenses to practice suspended or revoked. At that point, they cannot continue working in their current position, and their employer has no choice but to fire them.
Similarly, government workers and public employees are often hired under very strict conditions to avoid criminal activity. Since these employees handle public records and sensitive documents, they must maintain a certain degree of trust and professionalism. Being arrested might result in termination.
Are Arrested Individuals Protected from Firing in New Jersey?
People are not necessarily protected from being fired just because they were arrested. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protects people from discriminatory hiring practices, such as being fired or passed over for a job because of race or religion. Simply being arrested is not considered a protected status. If you are arrested, our Brigantine criminal defense lawyers can help you defend yourself so you can keep your job.
The EEOC has provided guidance on how employers should handle criminal records when making employment decisions. Your termination for being arrested must somehow be tied to prohibited discriminatory employment practices. For example, if you were fired for being arrested but another coworker was not fired even though they have also been arrested, you might have a legal claim if the other coworker kept their job because of their race, religion, or other similar reason. In such a case, you should contact an employment attorney.
How to Keep Your Job After Being Arrested in New Jersey
The best way to keep your job after being arrested is to fight the charges and avoid a conviction. Sometimes, employers will not actually fire an employee for being arrested, but they will if the employee is convicted. Other times, the employee is placed on administrative leave until they are convicted or acquitted. Our Avalon criminal defense lawyers can assist you in fighting the charges so you can get back to work and continue earning a living.
Sometimes, people are arrested for a misunderstanding, and charges are never filed. Even so, there is a record of the arrest on your permanent criminal record. We can help you expunge this record and explain to your employer that you are not actually being criminally charged. If you are charged, we can work to get the charges dropped or dismissed as soon as possible. If they cannot be dropped or dismissed, we can fight them in court and hopefully get a not-guilty verdict.
Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help Now
Being arrested can cause serious employment problems, depending on the charges and your line of work. Our Wildwood criminal defense attorneys can help you fight the charges so you can continue working and supporting your family. For a free case review, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.