Do I Need to Tell My Boss About My Arrest?

Know How Much You Need to Disclose

An arrest can jeopardize your personal and professional relationships, as people may perceive you differently after hearing that you’re facing criminal charges. In some cases, you can be selective with who you tell and minimize the spread of the news. Unfortunately, in others, there may be people that require notice of your pending trial.

Some employers require their employees to disclose their arrest records. Generally, these requirements will be outlined in your:

  • Company code of conduct
  • Company handbook
  • Company website
  • Employment contract

You can also inquire about arrest policies with your human resources department. If your job does require disclosure, pay close attention to their specific terms. Some companies may only ask for a report of any convictions, meaning that you are not obligated to share details of your arrest before trial.

Jobs That Require Arrest Reporting

Some industries require professionals to report arrests. Generally, you must be prepared to disclose your arrest record if you are:

  • A CDL driver
  • A company car driver
  • A law student
  • A professional – such as a doctor, nurse, realtor, or pharmacist – applying for or renewing your license to practice in Georgia

Can I Get Fired for an Arrest?

Georgia is an employment-at-will state. This means that employees and employers may terminate the working relationship at any moment and for whatever reason. An arrest could be enough for a boss to fire their worker.

Should I Tell My Employer?

If your employer does not explicitly require you to report any arrests, then the decision of whether or not to disclose your case is yours to make.

In some cases, informing your boss of your charges may work in your favor. Mugshots are available for people to see online, and arrests are sometimes covered by local media. If your case is gaining traction, disclosing your arrest may offer an opportunity to better control the narrative.

On the other hand, keeping the case to yourself can prevent any changes in work relationships or potential threats to your employment. You should carefully consider the weight of your charge and your relationship with your employer before making your decision.
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