The recent NFL Ray Rice scandal has many employers asking what can we do if we employ someone who is a domestic abuser? Assuming you are an at-will employer, you can fire a worker if they have committed domestic violence, however, it’s not that simple.
If you cannot directly tie the incident back to workplace risks, you may be opening yourself up to a wrongful termination suit. Connecting the incident directly to the workplace is difficult if the offender is a good performer, co-workers do not feel at risk and if the spouse does not work for you. However, if the person is the public face of the business or someone in a leadership position, there is significant workplace risk. In those cases, a person who has committed domestic violence may erode the value of your brand or your company culture.
Also, you must consider whether the individual has actually been convicted of domestic violence, or if they have only been charged. There is a big difference between the two. If you fire someone because they have only been accused of or charged with domestic violence, you will be opening yourself up to a wrongful termination suit.
For more information, contact Kellie Boysen at 717-855-5589