If you have ever been convicted as a result of an offense while you are employed, you must disclose this information to your employer. The following article explains how you and your job can be affected if you have a criminal record in Tennessee.
It is advised to seek legal advice from a professional before you decide to pursue legal action with your employer or raise other concerns.
According to a survey conducted by the Department of Justice in 2012, as of 31 December 2012, criminal history files of the state criminal history repositories contained names of over 100.5 million individual offenders.
When Does a New Conviction Have to Be Disclosed to Your Employer?
In many cases, it depends on your employment contract and whether it is required that you disclose a new conviction to your employer. It is not always clear when new convictions obtained during employment relationships need to be disclosed.
If your employment contract states that you must inform your employer of any convictions you receive during your employment, then failure to do so will be treated as a breach of contract and your employment could be terminated.
Unless your employer specifies whether you must disclose convictions received while employed, you are not required to do so. Your employer is unable to lawfully terminate you if your conviction is unveiled during the course of your employment.
What Else Do You Need to Disclose About Your Criminal Record in Tennessee?
There are certain cases in which you are obliged to communicate any new information to your employer. Losing your driver’s license, for example, might mean that if you do not speak up, you are bound to keep driving. Which means that you would be committing an offense every time you drive.
If your sentence results in restrictions, such as a harassment conviction, you may have to prevent contact with certain places and people. You may have difficulty performing your duties without committing a second offense and may be able to perform your job only to a limited extent.
Could Your Employers Take Action?
If a crime is committed at the workplace or during employment, your employer is entitled to treat it as a disciplinary matter, even if it is not, which is rarely the case. Standard disciplinary protocols are to be followed if your employer pursues disciplinary action.
In cases where the criminal record in Tennessee is connected to an accident that did not happen at work, things could get more complex. In either case, the consequences could be similar.
You should not be surprised if your employer initiates disciplinary action following a criminal conviction. You will likely be fired after being found guilty of misconduct or for a conviction that has a direct connection to your job. The same is true for workplace accidents and other disciplinary matters. If your employer perceives it as misconduct or dismissal for other substantial reasons, an employer may choose to treat it as misconduct or as termination for other substantial reasons.
What Factors Will Your Employers Consider?
You should consider how your conviction will affect your ability to do your job and your relationships with your employer, colleagues, and clients if the conviction is for something you did outside of work. Even if driving is not a part of your job, if your offense involves driving, it may not be a problem. They should also consider your employment history.
What Are the Most Likely Outcomes?
You will not be able to fulfill your contractual obligations if you are sentenced to prison. You may also think you will not keep your job if your conviction leads to a non-custodial sentence, but you should always remember that you have a right to reasonable treatment by your employer.
There is no legal requirement for an employer to terminate an employee based solely on a criminal conviction. All employers have a legal obligation to act responsibly, follow policy, and avoid taking action based on a hunch.
An employer should still conduct a thorough investigation into specific circumstances and decide whether termination is warranted based on the human resource manual or corporate policy.
Contact a Lawyer:
If you are stuck in a situation like this, feel free to contact us. Our experienced lawyers will be able to guide you through the whole process. Call us now for a free consultation session in case you have a criminal record in Tennessee.