Dear Co-op Counselor; HELP!

Dear Counselor;
Our cooperative just learned that one of our best employees has a criminal record.  The employee failed to disclose this in the application process.  Because the criminal charge was “a long time ago” and no longer relevant.  This person is an excellent worker and we hate to lose them as an employee.  What can we do?
Signed: Not Bugged By Bugsy.

Dear Not:
Employers must consider the nature and severity of the offense and the amount of time elapsed since the offense or completion of the sentence and the nature of the job held.   This has been a standard adopted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for more than 20 years. If the employee’s job requires interfacing with members and occupants and the conviction relates to assault or theft, he may not be suitable for employment with the cooperative.  On the other hand, if the conviction was a drug or alcohol related offense and there is no evidence on the part of the employee, of current use or involvement the cooperative has much less risk and may wish to continue the employment relationship. 

Employee situations such as this are risky matters and require close analysis of the facts and the law surrounding each individual case.  It is imperative for cooperative boards to seek competent, professional legal advice to avoid liability and harm to their cooperative.

Disclaimer: While we hope this information is helpful in answering some of your questions, please be advised that the answers provided here are for “general” informational purposes only. This information should not be construed as “legal advice” either to the individual or the Cooperative that they represent, the use of this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship between  the user/reader and Mr. Pentiuk or his law firm, Pentiuk, Couvreur and Kobiljak, P.C.

For specific legal advice and personalized assistance with regard to your particular issue or problem you should contact a professional cooperative attorney.