Boss learning of his employee's arrest

In the past we discussed whether or not you have to inform your employer that you were arrested. What we concluded was that, if you were arrested on some minor offense and quickly released, it’s pretty much up to you whether you tell the boss. However, if you were arrested on a more serious charge and are facing the possibility of a trial and real jail time, or you are being held for arraignment and are going to miss work, you’ll have to call the boss. And the sooner the better. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to inform your boss that you’ve been arrested. Below we’ll go over the right way.

Don’t Expect the Bondsman to Call Your Boss

If it looks like you’ll have no option but to inform your employer that you’ve been arrested there’s a right way and a wrong way to do so. Don’t just assume that someone else will do it for you. It’s not the job of the bail bonding agent to make the difficult calls for you. It's also not your parents' job, or your girlfriend's. You’re going to have to man-up (or woman-up as the case may be) and do it yourself. But what’s the best way to handle such a sensitive issue? It essentially boils down to 3 steps:

  • Make the call.
  • Be honest.
  • Stay calm and ask questions.

Now that we know the steps let’s go through them one at a time.

Make the Call

If it seems as though your situation is going to impact your ability to do your job either in the short or long term (or both) you need to talk to your boss. Before you pick up the phone however, it’s crucial you do one thing: calm down. Take a few breaths. Think about what you’re going to say. But don’t spend your time concocting a tall tale.

Try to put yourself in your employer’s shoes. Remember, they’re not expecting a call like this. They’re going about their normal routine expecting they’re going to see you in the morning. Unless you’re all over the 6 o’clock news they’re going to be surprised and confused. So if you’re to get them on your side it’s important that you don’t add to the confusion by sounding bent out of shape and incoherent. Take those few breaths. Compose yourself. Then call them.

Be Honest

If you’ve been arrested on a fairly serious charge this is likely to be one of the most complicated situations you’ll ever face. There will be family repercussions, relationship repercussions, financial repercussions and professional repercussions that all need to be managed. The worst thing you can do is complicate the matter further by spinning a tall tale designed to make you look better. So be honest. It’s possible that at the time you call them you won’t know exactly how things are going to unfold. So just stick to the facts.

“Hi. This is (your name here). I’m calling because (insert situation here) and I’ve been arrested. I’m currently at Whatever Jail and I’m working to resolve the situation. I’m in contact with a bondsman but there’s a chance I’ll be held over for a hearing and may have to miss a couple of days work. I know this is unexpected but I appreciate your understanding.”

That type of opening statement sets the tone for the conversation and lets your boss know you’re on top of things and you’re thinking about how your job may be impacted. Now you can move on to the next phase of the conversation.

Stay Calm and Ask Questions

This is one of the most awkward and difficult phone calls a person can make. How you handle it will say a lot about your character. Unless you’ve been arrested for being a serial killer or some such thing it may actually turn out to be a net positive for you in the long run. How? Because you may actually impress your boss with the calm, methodical and straightforward way you deal with the situation. Remember, crisis management is an important aspect of leadership. And business men and women don’t get to be successful unless they’re able to calmly and coolly handle the most difficult situations. It may not vault you into the executive VP’s chair. But it’s possible you could emerge from the crisis looking pretty good.

So explain the situation honestly and clearly. And then ask some relevant questions. “Will I be able to keep my job?” “How do you want me to handle this with the other people at work?” Give your boss a chance to get involved in the process (if they want to). If you are a valued employee they may stand by you. But they may also have some definite ideas about how to handle it so as to minimize impact on the company, its image and its reputation. And if they’re upset, let them be upset. Remember, you’re putting them in a pretty tough situation. Let them say what they have to say.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been arrested in Adams County, Broomfield County, Weld County or Denver, stay calm. Talk to your boss and lay things out in a straightforward manner. And make sure you call the pros at Rapid Release Bail Bonds. We’ll do everything in our power to return you to your loved ones and your job as soon as is legally possible.