Moral Compass Question

We have been training a single 27 year old mother of 3 to be an assistant manager.

Come to find out yesterday that a few weeks ago the crew went out drinking and she slept with one of our 15 year old cooks. This situation is wrong on so many levels and wanted to get your imput on how to handle the situation.

Do you have policies regarding supervisory people fraternizing with or dating subordinates? If not then maybe what people do when they are away from work is not your affair. On the other hand, as you are the one who the kid’s parents’ will call, you should let your trainee know that if she embarasses the company with her actions she will be terminated.

There is also the concern at first glance of actual decision-making ability and responsibility level. Having a 15-year-old at an alcohol party smacks of providing alcohol to a minor, an illegal activity. I don’t know about sex with minors laws in your state, but in Georgia, that is classified as child molestation now (may be ‘aggravated’ if alcohol is involved), and a HUGE PR crisis for your business if the kid gets scorned and files charges.

This definitely would be a coaching opportunity if it were my employee. I’d be most concerned about discretion, illegal behaviors, and the “newly written” policies about fraternization with employees by supervisory staff and conviction of crimes of moral turpitude.

Like I said it is wrong on so many levels.

The age of consent here is 17.

So far the plan I was going to take is terminate the trainee manager. I was not going to fire the child because the law does not find him capable of making the right decision.

Some of my other questions are…

Do I call authorities, obviously I don’t want to for PR reasons but I want to do the right thing and protect myself.

Do I call the minor’s mother?

Nick, you had mentioned “coaching opportunity” what do you mean? The boy or woman?

I am all for helping my crew grow but this is really just odd and a little over the top I think. I have a 15 yr. old daughter and if it was a man I would probably be arrested tomorrow for my actions.

As for the drinking, we have a zero tolerance policy…they aren’t even allowed to talk about drugs or alcohol at work. Obviously that needs some reinforcement. I am curious about a fraternizing policy…anyone have one? What does it consist of? I believe my general store manager may have also been at the party and want to prevent this from ever happening again.

I appreciate all your advice…keep it coming…I don’t know what the heck to do!

How do you know it even actually happened?

She has to go. If she squaks, tell her you will contact the authorities to report statutory rape and contributing to the deliquency of a minor. Makes notes to youself and date them for your files about what happened and what you did about it.

You can not do nothing, if you do and it is repeated you can be in some serious hot water. You don’t even want to imagine the publicity factor if this hits the news and that is not impossible if you enable it by keeping her on.

I mean coaching for both parties. I do not see any proof that anything happened. Not even really weak proof . . . just a rumor at this point. Taking any sort of heavy-handed action could put you in a poor position . . . especially if it is indeed just a rumor. Being named defendant in a lawsuit would not be out of the question if you give the boot giving this incident as the cause. Talk about a no win situation for you . . . and PR minefield everywhere. I might even suggest a brief consult with an attorney to be sure what your legal standing, responsibilities and liabilities are. Just to be sure.

Stern message and written documentation of your refusing for this behavior to happen, and a signature on that piece of paper indicating they saw it. These sorts of things will show you took steps to prevent it actually happening and that you do not tolerate it.

Now, if you do have some actual proof, then game on. I personally take the view that if you gonna break that kind of law, I’m gonna squeal. Heck, I might even drop a call to the local police to let them know I got a report of this sort of activity and let them do what they do to verify it. Drugs/alcohol, violence and sex crimes are insidious in a small community like mine.

You need to call the police…You might be able to do this without giving your name…RCS…

I might change my stance depending on what other information is provided - but…

I think this is none of your business. It isn’t up to you to impose your beliefs or the law on anyone else - especially if you can’t prove anything.

I’m sure your employees to “other” illegal things on their own time - like drinking, speeding, smoking pot, whatever… and I assume you don’t think it is your job to call the police about that.

Now - if you are saying that this 15 year old boy was raped, or was otherwise forced to do something against his will - then I say by all means report it. If he was a willing participant - then stay out of it.

edited to add: I also assume that this particular 15 year old boy is of normal mental capacity. If he is somehow mentally impaired, then that changes my opinion also.

I really am lured by your compelling statements. I have a certain desire to live and let live. I also have a sense of community and order that creeps into it for me. Child sex laws are different for me, though, regardless of consent. Especially when alcohol is involved-could be enticement, etc . . . I believe entirely differently.

Four words when you have potential knowledge that a crime has been committed and you do not report it: ACCOMPLICE AFTER THE FACT. I’ll go to bat for my employees, but I won’t risk being put on the state sex offender list for anyone . . . not even family. This discussion is proof that someone had reason to believe something happened.

If you cannot stand anonymous calling, then just step up and ask the lady if it happened at all . . . give her the chance to explain or refute the claim. then you have more information to make decisions. It never hurts to ask . … and even tell her if you intend to report the incident to the police for investigation. Integrity and forthright action gives her the chance to make informed choices as well.

IMO, that’s a bit over-dramatic. I’m no lawyer, but I can’t imagine that this falls into anything near accomplice after the fact - and even if it did I can’t imagine how it could put you on the sex offender list.

If the original poster has “heard” about this, you can bet 10+ other people have too. Surely there is no race amongst those in the “know” to get this reported - however, if what you say is true there should be - because the ones that didn’t report them will be accomplices after the fact.

I’m still interested in knowing how the original poster actually knows for a fact that this happened.

Welcome to Georgia :slight_smile: Sex offender list is pretty broad here.

Employer who knows (if one does eventually get facts) of sexual illegality between supervisor and employee who does nothing to impinge said behavior or protect the minor in question could be argued to be negligent in the situation. Effective argument . . . I don’t know. I personally do not want the public to read that story in the newspaper . . . OR from the rumor mill. Once an accusation is made, the damage to my business is done.

As a business owner, this alone is cause for action of SOME sort. Remember the Ghirmac shampoo commercial . . . "and then she’ll tell 2 friends, and so on, and so on . . . . The rumor mill is so much faster than actual fact, and a business owner has to decide how to act proactively so that one doesn’t have to react later.

By the by . . . does the original poster have a beer/wine/liquor serving license at his store?

Might consider terminating the GM for being at a party like that…but to terminate the woman - - FOR WHAT? Legally, I mean. You (probably) don’t have evidence. And you certainly don’t have evidence of broken policy AT WORK. You could be sued for the termination.

If she’s otherwise working out and responsible, maybe you need to do a warning - to her, to the GM, and refresh everyone on the anti-substance policies…

You may want to seek the advise of a lawyer now that you know about this, the fact that a minor is involved just compounds the matter.


you need to contact the police immediatly i am a reserve officer here in oklahoma

if you don’t do anything and the parents or authorities find out you knew something then you could be charged with accesory after the fact of the crime

So how does it work if 10 people know about it? One person reports it and the nine other people go to jail for “accessory after the fact?”.

Heck, the woman should just tell everyone she’d like to see go to jail if they suddenly become an “accessory after the fact” for simply knowing about a prossible crime that was committed.

ACCESSORY AFTER THE FACT - Whoever, knowing that an offense has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact; one who knowing a felony to have been committed by another, receives, relieves, comforts, or assists the felon in order to hinder the felon’s apprehension, trial, or punishment. U.S.C. 18

That said, I’m pretty sure the he isn’t an “accessory after the fact”. First, he doesn’t “know” that any crime was committed. Second, he hasn’t assisted the offender to hinder her apprehension, trial or punishment.

Not to change the subject, but how do you have a 15 year old cooking? Definitely not supposed to touch the fryer/oven, not sure about the grill.

Don’t fire her, you don’t have cause. She’ll have a hell of a lawsuit for you.

However, if she gets thrown in jail and can’t work, that’s another story. Ease your mind and call the cops. Let them sort it out.

We had a similar case not to long ago, but this was a 2 year affair. She was sentenced to jail time, not sure how long. Started when the boy was 15 or 16.

call the cops and let them figure it out, and whoever said if this was a 15 yrold girl it would be a completly different story is sooo right, I know someone(not a friend) that got 25 years for the exact same thing except he was the 27 yr old and it was a 15 yr old girl. I wouldn’t want someone like that working for me.

Well i appreciate all the input.

No we don’t serve alcohol.

All the information I have had has been hear say from several different employees who have taken me aside to let me know what is going on.

Here is where we are at…

First off…Registered Guest…I really appreciate your opinion, at first I was like what do you mean how do we know…but I get it now. That, above all else is what I keep going back to…What PROOF is there.

How do we know…well that is our first step. Going by the EVIDENCE we don’t know.

We have decided to talk to all involved and they have to write down what they know about the incident and then we will talk to them individually. They don’t know this is going to happen, we are going to do it at the same time.

I believe one will tell the truth but even if not we have documentation they are denying the incident.

We had a meeting with our manager and he was not there (thank God) and going to meet us again on Wed after we have the incident reports filled out.

Depending on the reports we will make our move. Sometimes the truth is irrelevent if there is no proof and as much as it sucks that is where I am right now. I don’t doubt it happened and thankfully the woman has a 90 day probation period and we probably won’t make her a permanent assistant manager and she won’t go back to her original position.

If we find out the rumors are true and have evidence I am leaning toward calling the police and turning it over to them.

Argh…I love making pizzas, I hate dealing with trash.