My family and I were victims to a horrible, senseless crime in which a family member was murdered.

The courts have taken their sweet time with the case due to the pandemic and as bad luck would have it, it seems like I might be starting a new position around the time the trial is set to start. I must be present and support my family during this trial whether I am employed or not.

I am working with a recruiter, but I have not really delved into that topic with them or the companies I'm interviewing with. The reason being I was hoping the trial would have started and concluded in December but alas it did not, and now I am at the stage where I will soon receive offers and get asked for a start date, but I have no idea where/how/with whom to bring up such a topic.

I'm currently thinking to bring it up with the recruiter and the company as soon as they have given me an offer, but before I have a start date. Is this the right approach for this?

  • @JoeStrazzere that's a great question Joe, and the answer is sadly "I'm not sure, I wish I knew." The court could technically schedule the trial for any week in February and I have no idea how long such a trial can take, 1 week? 2 weeks? Never been thru this before... courts opening and closing due to pandemic is the cherry on top. Dec 28, 2020 at 21:07
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    I'd suggest talking to whatever legal support you/your family have with regards to the case - they should be able to give you a good idea how long they expect the trial to take. Dec 28, 2020 at 21:11
  • Don't know about your country, but isn't being summoned to court one of the things considered more important than work? In Germany being summoned means your employer must give you that time off, regardless if he wants to or not. So I would argue that this shouldn't be a factor in hiring negotiations. Same as if you were pregnant, at least in Germany you don't need to tell the prospective employer beforehand.
    – jwsc
    Sep 29, 2021 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


That's exactly what I've done in the past when I've had an immovable commitment (in my case it was an expensive pre-booked holiday, which I accept is slight more "movable") - once I had an actual offer in my hands, I had a quick chat with HR at the hiring company and said "I'll need three weeks off in my probation". They said "fine". Obviously in your case, just make it very clear you were the victim of the crime.

(This to me would also act as a check for any red flags on the hiring company's side. If they quibble at all about giving you this time off, they're quite likely going to quibble about other bits of time off, and that's very much a bad thing)

  • Thanks for the answer, the bit about the red-flag is a smart way to look at it. Dec 29, 2020 at 9:25
  • The red flag comment is so true. At the end, a witness in a crime is doing his duty to society, nothing else. It is not like it is your decision - you saw something, the courts want to hear it. Done. Any company balking at that are not a company I want to work for.
    – TomTom
    Dec 29, 2020 at 12:43

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