Question & Answer
Question: "We have an employee whom we suspect has stolen from a customer's account, using blank checks, and working with an accomplice outside the bank. The police feel they have enough evidence to charge him with the crime. We are not signing the complaint. My question is two-fold. If he is formally charged by the police, do we have to terminate him? And if he is found not guilty by the court, do we have to take him back, and pay him back pay? It may be months before this thing comes to trial!"-Rural Pennsylvania banker
Answer: For the first part of your question concerning termination-the procedure you will probably want to follow is that of suspension, not termination. And you have no choice but to suspend the employee. You will probably choose to suspend without pay until the conclusion of the investigation or the determination of the court hearing.
As far as taking him back, if the conclusion of the court is "guilty as charged", you will immediately terminate him. If, however, he is cleared of the charges, you will want to reinstate him. And, in order to avoid litigation on the part of the employee, you will more than likely choose to pay him all back pay.
Copyright © 1991 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 2, No. 10, 11/91
First published on 11/01/1991