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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19663
Experience:  Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
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38-93 Assault (Colorado) - Business owner had employee quit

Customer Question

38-93 Assault (Colorado) - Business owner had employee quit (walk off without notice) and next-day police arrive with summons and complaint alleging assault. Owner jokingly asked worker to "Wake up," based on her performance during her shift. In doing so, he pinched her arm (jokingly). Her response, at the time, was to pinch his arm back. Now, she alleges assault. Really? What's next? Sexual harassment? The facts of her performance on the job that day (odd behavior, to say the least) call into question her motives. Are disgruntled employees allowed to make such allegations? Seems bogus, but business owner must now appear in court to defend himself. Any advice?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hi,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. Is the employee suing the employer civilly for assault, or did she file criminal charges?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is not the summons that my business partner received, but it's the same form. The attached is for a high-profile case in Denver, but is still the same form. http://www.9news.com/pdfs/Clark_pc_statement.pdf Isn't that criminal? And now the employee has emailed me directly with the following text: "I am sure you are aware by now that Mario has been harassing me at work. I still would like to apprentice in the bakery with you. Let me know where my position stands. Thanks." I don't want to work with this person, I don't believe her, and she is not welcome at any business I own. She walked off the job without giving any notice or giving any indication that there was a problem. By her actions on Saturday, May 1, 2010 (i.e., not returning to her work shift from her lunch break and not saying anything to anyone about leaving), it is assumed that she voluntarily quit her job. In an at-will state and because she quit prior to making allegations, what are we to do?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
That is a criminal form, it just doesn't make any sense that the DA would waste its time prosecuting someone for a pinch. I certainly wouldn't have. He should go in, plead not guilty, and ask the DA to provide him with any and all evidence against him. If it ends up going to court, he can use the fact that she is a disgruntled employee against her. That will damage her credibility with the jury and help create reasonable doubt.

If her performance was otherwise poor, and it sounds like it was, you have a valid reason for terminating her - before she made any allegations. The fact that she walked out in the middle of her shift without returning helps you. Make sure that it is clear that the reason she no longer has a job is because of her voluntary job abandonment. You should be prepared for the possibility that she will file some sort of retaliation suit. But, if everything is documented, you should be OK.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 19663
Experience: Criminal Justice Degree, JD with Criminal Law Concentration. Worked for the DA and U.S. Attorney.
Lucy, Esq. and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. My response to her email was straightforward and simple: "I will be contacting our attorney to handle this situation from this point on. You walked off the job without giving any notice or giving any indication that there was a problem. By your actions on Saturday, May 1, 2010 (i.e., not returning to your work shift from your lunch break and not saying anything to anyone about your leaving), it is assumed that you voluntarily quit your job." You confirmed what I thought, and I appreciate your assistance. Sometimes, as an employer, I feel like the harassed one. Kind regards, Katherine

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