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Cause for Termination- Disciplinary Action:

Discussion in 'Termination: Firing & Resignation' started by Vaughn32, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Vaughn32

    Vaughn32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello. Recently I discovered my son was involved in Prostitution and he also joined what they call "social meet up groups" in Tarrytown and Scars-dale: Apparently this went on for quite a while and he ended up in several illicit sexual relationships. Basically- he was in a sense involved with prostitution through one of his former lovers. He did service clients for this establishment. There was also drug usage and he could have contracted and spread STD's. I am not proud about this but it is difficult because he is still my son.

    Two articles recently appeared on the internet which told explicit detail about my son and his involvement with Prostitution as well as drugs and other sexually immoral acts. A co worker at his company (he is an electrician and has union representation)- she learned about the information on the Internet and alerted my sons HR Department. Aside from my sons behavior a former partner filed a complaint at his work claiming he sexually harassed her from his work during company time from their computer and company phones. Plus this women claims my son gave her std's purposely and that she is filing complaint with proper authorities. I believe this women told my son's HR department about this also.
    Apparently- HR conducted a 4 day investigation:

    My son said yesterday that he received a note that HR wants too see him Monday morning before he starts work. My questions are?

    1. I understand HR can inquire and investigate the Harassment complaint but because prostitution happened after work outside of work can they still investigate and question him about that? or is that off limits?

    2. Can my son be terminated because Prostitution is illegal and an act such as that could cause his company harm to their reputation and embarrassment?? Can they fire him for this or is that a personal matter? If they can terminate for the Prostitution is that considered Gross Misconduct?

    3. What protection does belonging to an union afford an employee? Isn't it harder to be terminated when you have a union behind you?

    **4). If they question my son and ask him if he has ever engaged in Prostitution or related acts and he answers truthfully can they terminate on the spot?

    I am sorry about all the questions? But I am lost- concerned- upset. I know Employers have rights and so do employees and i always thought employers can not involve themselves in an employees personal life ?

    Any suggestions- opinions- advice would be very helpful??
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    No, it's not off limits. Your son is employed "at will" which means he can be fired for any reason not prohibited by law. Anything he does on or off the job can be a legitimate concern of his employer.

    Yes, he can be terminated. Misconduct is a term used to disqualify a worker from unemployment compensation. Doesn't matter if it's "gross" or not.

    https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/aso/Section_1100.htm

    If he's a member of a union he should be asking that question of his union rep. Though I think his behavior egregious enough so that the union won't be of much help.

    They can likely terminate him on the spot even if he doesn't answer any questions.

    And here's the thing. I suggest he doesn't answer any questions at all. He's involved in criminal activities and anything he says about them to his employer will not be privileged and the employer can be called to testify against him at a criminal trial.

    The following video doesn't just apply to talking to police:



    You are 100% wrong.
     
  3. Vaughn32

    Vaughn32 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you Adjuster Jack....I guess I am confused I have heard so many different things from different people. Maybe it is not good to ask opinions of those who don't have expertise in HR or Employment laws. As I said, he works for a large and well known organization. I am sure they go by the HR handbook and company policy. Basically- even if my son was a top performer in this company there is no benefit to HR overlooking this situation? If they ignored it or did not address it in the end it could come back to haunt them? is that correct? Are you saying they legally have the right to at least question him about it? I am sure those HR people are trained to know how to extract what they want when questioning an employee. If the do ask him point blank- my son already knows if he denies it and they think he is lying he can be terminated for that also. However, if they ask him point blank and he admits it I doubt they will have any sympathy just because he told the truth. I mean I do not think they will preserve his job simply because he did not lie when asked. They may have him backed into a corner either way? If he lies they will fire him and if he is truthful and admits it it probably won't save his job anyway do you agree? One thing i failed to mention- How does HR know if these Internet articles are the truth? They were published on web sites that warn the public of dishonest men and women that have committed adultery- stolen things- STD carriers etc.

    More than likely they will address this situation? Someone told me they really are not supposed to pry into personal business because they fear lawsuits. Again- are they forced into addressing because my son basically broke the law. If they ignored it would it be the same as the company is ignoring someone that committed a crime?? If the public did find out that my son worked there and this prostitution business do you feel it could hurt their business. Would people actually stop using the company because they feel they employ less than respectable people? These articles do list his home address- his place of work and their address- do you think that is also concerning to his HR department. Sorry if I repeated myself. I am still in shock and quite upset. Without a doubt this can have a impact on my son securing another job. I also heard it may affect unemployment benefits because of the nature of the act. I am angry and also feel bad for my son. Because i am helpless to assist him in this matter. Any additional comments are appreciated. Thank you.
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Okay, just to clear everything up for you:

    1. I understand HR can inquire and investigate the Harassment complaint but because prostitution happened after work outside of work can they still investigate and question him about that? or is that off limits?

    Yes, they can still investigate and question him about that. No, it is not off limits.

    2. Can my son be terminated because Prostitution is illegal and an act such as that could cause his company harm to their reputation and embarrassment?? Can they fire him for this or is that a personal matter? If they can terminate for the Prostitution is that considered Gross Misconduct?

    Yes, your son can be terminated for this. It doesn't matter if it's personal or not; nothing in the law says that you cannot be fired for personal matters. The company is free to consider it Gross Misconduct if they choose to. There is no hard definition of Gross Misconduct in employment law but I was trained to consider that is someone can prosecute, it's safe to call it Gross Misconduct. If you are asking for unemployment reasons, it's up to the unemployment commission of the state whether they choose to call it so or not. They may or may not.

    3. What protection does belonging to an union afford an employee? Isn't it harder to be terminated when you have a union behind you?

    Whatever protections the union contracts give him, Yes, it can be harder but it is not impossible. My union is very protective of its members but a union member whose illegal activities were widely reported in the media would be cut loose by the union as well as by the employer I work for.

    **4). If they question my son and ask him if he has ever engaged in Prostitution or related acts and he answers truthfully can they terminate on the spot?

    Unless he has a union or other that expressly and in so many words says otherwise, yes, they can. And for the record, he can walk in the door on Monday and before he says a single word, they can say, "You're fired; collect your belongings and leave right now" and with the same qualification that would be legal.

    i always thought employers can not involve themselves in an employees personal life ?

    You were wrong.

    even if my son was a top performer in this company there is no benefit to HR overlooking this situation?

    No. Even if your son was the top performer in the world there is no benefits to HR overlooking this.

    If they ignored it or did not address it in the end it could come back to haunt them?

    Damn right it could.

    Are you saying they legally have the right to at least question him about it?

    Yes. They legally have the right to do more than question him about it. They legally have the right to take action about it. They legally have the right to fire him on the spot for it, with or without questioning him about it.

    How does HR know if these Internet articles are the truth?

    They don't. It doesn't matter. They are not a court of law; they do not have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. They also have a sexual harassment report on him; they could fire him outright for that whether there were any internet articles or not. Besides, apparently they are the truth from what you say.

    You're angry at the wrong people. Your son brought this on himself. If he gets fired and refused unemployment it's because of his own actions. His employer has a legal obligation to protect the company overall, and if that means cutting loose an employee who's been involved in illegal activities, that's what it means. They're not obligated to continue your son's employment and allow his reputation to sully theirs and that of all the other employees in the company by association just because it will be difficult for him. Those are the consequences of the actions he chose to participate in.

    It's just about 100% sure that your son will be fired, legally, and unemployment is questionable at best. Feel as bad for your son as you like, but recognize that there is absolutely nothing illegal about firing him for it.

    Signed,

    HR personnel of 40 years experience.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  5. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    Sitting next to CBG ...and even in the state(s) that have any protection for what employees do on their personal time, it is usually caveated in their laws as protection for LEGAL activities. So if prostitution is illegal where you are, that would NEVER be protected.

    And if he used any company property to carry out any of this, that's just one more nail....
     
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  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If the employer does ask questions about a pending criminal case it is in your sons best interest to decline to answer. The people he speaks with could later be called as witnesses against him.
     
  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There are plenty of available jobs in this country at the present time.

    Sometimes fighting for something means incurring unnecessary scars to lose THAT something.

    An employee can summarily resign without notice, explanation, or comment, to seek employment elsewhere; thereby AVOIDING comment about things which MIGHT later become criminal inquiries.
     
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