Employee Misconduct: When to Get Law Enforcement Involved

Dealing with employee misconduct is something most business owners and supervisors will have to deal with at one time or another. In some situations, though, there comes a time where you need to decide whether or not you should call the police and report the misconduct. This isn’t necessary for every type of misconduct, but when related to assault, physical violence, or the risk of harm to others, it’s often prudent to get law enforcement involved.


Harassment and Assault


This tends to be a tricky one and in general, harassment will be a reason you fire an employee, but not necessarily call law enforcement. However, there are some situations where calling the police is an appropriate action. For example if sexual harassment of a fellow employee led to sexual assault, that is a good reason to bring law enforcement into the picture. Similarly, harassment leading to threats in the form of phone messages or emails is also a good reason to call the police and report it.




Employees who show up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol are putting themselves and others in dangers, and may warrant a call the local police station. As an employer, you may decide to put the employee in a cab and send them home, to follow up on the consequences at a later time. However, in some situations the employee might refuse to leave or getting into dangerous situations, in which you can call the police. For example, if an employee is showing obvious signs of intoxication and is in the warehouse, they could cause harm to other workers when around machinery. If they refuse to leave, call the police and have them escorted out.




Assault in the workplace is certainly a reason to terminate an employee, but like harassment, there are certain situations in which its essential to seek help from law enforcement. Any time assault leads to the injury of an employee or customer, it’s prudent to bring the authorities into the situation. Even if the person injured is already planning to press charges, you should cooperate, give your statement, and report the assault if the person injured doesn’t step forward.  Further, if an employee brings any kind of weapon onto your premises, call the police immediately.


Theft or Vandalism


Finally, employee misconduct that harms to your business or property deserves a call of police officials, and possibly pressing charges. This includes catching an employee stealing money or merchandise from your business or vandalizing your property. You have the option of handling these situations yourself, but in many cases the police should be involved. However an employee causing damage to your property intentionally or stealing cash from the register is definitely a good reason to involve local law enforcement.


Keeping your employees safe should be your top priority; keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to involve law enforcement. You should also consult with an attorney to discuss the ramifications and whether filing charges against an employee is justified.  Lastly, be sure to be protected with crime insurance.