I have been working for a company for almost 2 months. The company has a 6 month probation period. Unfortunatly I ran into some legal trouble and will need 10 days off of work. I really don't want to lose my job. How should I approach my options with HR? Is there a way I can acquire information without sabotaging my employment?

  • I'd gather some documents that explicitly say "Chelsea needs 10 days off starting from $date" and show them to HR when you go and discuss it with them. Showing up with no documents from a 3rd party will make it look like you're possibly giving an excuse, not a reason.
    – hd.
    May 19 '15 at 14:42
  • @DavidK depending on the nature of the need for time off (is it for a conviction or trial that could jeopardize employment) could make it not a duplicate. In its current form I would agree that it is a duplicate. May 19 '15 at 15:19
  • is this to serve a sentence? If so can you possibly negotiate to serve the 10 days on weekends or during your normal off days? May 19 '15 at 17:13

The first step is to look at any information on leave your company provides. You may simply be able to book vacation days, even at a new (ish) job or during a probation period.

If your legal troubles have come with legal counsel, it's also worth asking them for advice on how to frame the situation to your employers if you do have to disclose the reason behind requesting leave.

I would advise a two-pronged approached -- discretion (do not disclose more than you have to) and honesty (do not come up with a lie -- if you're caught, you've probably given them grounds to fire you that they may not have had before).

If the worst comes to the worst and you wind up being let go or not retained after your probation period, you may still find someone in the company willing to act as a reference if you handle the situation professionally.

  • 1
    Also, I do not know how usual is that in other jurisdictions, but in mine a minor conviction like 10 days, if you show that you are working (and so, serving the term in standard conditions is risking your job -which goes against a probable rehabilitation-), usually there are alternatives (like serving the term only in weekends, communitary service, etc.). Anyway, asking for legal counsel should be the first thing to do.
    – SJuan76
    May 19 '15 at 15:40

I ran into some legal trouble and will need 10 days off of work. I really don't want to lose my job. How should I approach my options with HR?

Talk with HR.

Start with saying something like "I know it's early in my tenure here, but I've run into some personal issues and I need to take 10 days off to deal with them."

Then listen.

If pressed for more of a reason, only then follow up with "I'm in a bit of legal trouble." and explain however much is necessary.

As is often the case, the way to a solution here is talking.


Your best bet is to contact the HR department, explain that you need 10 days off work for urgent personal reasons and can't postpone it/can't postpone it too much (whichever applies to the situation). Assure you have some documentation to back up your claim so you can show it to them in case they require more information, but this would normally be none of their business: if an employee claims urgency, it is not for them to judge whether or not it is true.

  • Note that if you're asking for unpaid time off, the question of whether you've accrued enough vacation doesn't arise.
    – keshlam
    Aug 27 '15 at 4:52

The issue of needing 10 days off because of a legal issue may require you to tell your company.

  • If it due to jury duty or you are a witness some companies will give you the time off, they will even pay you and not charge your leave.
  • If it due to the fact that you are being sued, you may also have to tell them because a financial issue may have been a part of the background check. You may have to tell them even before the trial.
  • If you are being charged with a criminal offense, the company may also require you to tell them. Your conviction may change your situation, they will want to know in advance.

You will have to look at the documents you signed during the pre-employment phase, or as a part of your initial training. Some companies include this in the annual training.

  • Point #1 varies from state to state, and you should check your local laws to know exactly what your protections & responsibilities are.
    – alroc
    May 19 '15 at 15:58
  • Point 1 also varies significantly country to country.... In the UK, for example, employers are obliged to give you time off for jury duty
    – Jon Story
    Aug 28 '15 at 1:56

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