Rehiring an Employee After Jail Time
Common HR Questions
Q: An employee that used to work for us was convicted of a sexual offense crime and is serving time. We filled his position when he went to jail, but the role is now open again. The individual is about to be released from jail and found out that his prior job is currently open. The employee is asking for his job back. How should we handle?
A: Due to the seriousness of the events involved in this case, the fact that the employee works with the public, that not much time has passed since conviction, that employee had previously been rehired after a former termination, and the possible risk of a negligent hiring claim, we would consider this individual “not eligible for rehire.”
The EEOC has identified the following factors for consideration in making this assessment:
- The nature and gravity of the offense(s);
- The amount of time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence; and
- The nature of the job held or sought.
MEA’s goal is to provide current, detailed and useful information to HOTLINE callers, but our responses do not constitute legal advice about what you should or should not do in a particular situation. You should always consult legal counsel, in the context of a confidential attorney-client relationship, before taking any action that could have legal implications for you or your business. If legal services are needed, MEA members are entitled to a discounted fee arrangement with the Powell Trachtman law firm, which serves as MEA’s general counsel. For more information, contact Michael G. Trachtman at firstname.lastname@example.org.