Evansville, IN asked in Employment Law, Criminal Law and Health Care Law for Indiana

Q: If a licensed therapist who owns the practice is arrested, what legal/employment implications are there for employees?

The owner of the company I work for has not been an active employee for over a year and may or may not still be a part-owner of the company itself. The current management is keeping things pretty close to the vest. The individual was arrested for drug-related charges and I am wondering what legal implication might be for myself and other employees. The added confusion is that this is an individual who is a licensed addiction counselor, licensed social worker, etc... working in a substance use treatment center. I am wondering if my fear is valid, or if the individuals working here do have something to worry about.

1 Lawyer Answer
James A Hanson
James A Hanson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: In terms of criminal liability, you only have to worry about your own personal behavior. The allegedly criminal acts of an employer, acting as an individual, does not apply to you. If the business entity is accused of criminal acts (e.g. fraud) then the entity itself is in trouble and any of the employees that were involved in the criminal conduct.

Even under conspiracy prosecutions, the government has to show that you as an individual knew something illegal was happening and joined in willingly.

On the other hand, if your organization has contracts or other understandings with the government for court referrals and other things, the business may lose those referrals and/or any contract. Also, the organization's reputation is likely to take a hit in the marketplace.

It doesn't appear that you need to worry about any personal criminal liability on the facts you share, but it might not be a bad idea to look for other employment options from a purely business perspective.

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