Today an old friend of mine from University popped by to discuss some research I did for her regarding some suspicions that she has about her current employer. It took me about fifteen minutes to hit pay dirt, or find the dark and dirty secrets of this individual. When I presented this information to her with the data, she was not as devastated as I thought she would be. But this exercise brings up many ethical questions about our ideological needs and social concerns when dealing with offenders, and how we react to them.
So here is the first question. Would you continue to work for an employer who has been convicted of a sexual assault in the past, if you just found out about it today, and you are a woman?
I was surprised by my friend’s reaction as I handed her the file to read. Now for me, I deal with this all of the time so I am some what tempered by the many types of people I work and deal with in the prison system. I have interviewed, worked with, and being involved with various programs that are centred around people who have committed very heinous crimes, so I am use to it. In the rule of law circles, the belief is, once a person has fulfilled their time and punishment, then they are free to rejoin society and we as the public should take them back with open arms. As a Criminologist, I know first hand that that is not the case. In most circumstances, the opposite happens. My friend was not as concern as I thought she would have been about this news that I gave her.
So, the next question is, would you quit your job if you found out your boss is a known sex offender who has served his time and has been released?
Sex offenders are held as the lowest of the low in Canadian society. With this mark, you do not have to go far to see the public outrage that is generated whenever an offender is released from prison after serving their time. When my friend decided that she would continue to work for this guy, I was shocked.
This beings up a very interesting aspect about our society. On one hand, we have a woman who just found out that her boss is a convicted sex offender, yet, because it is a job, she will continue to have this relationship with him. So this has got me thinking that there are some huge philosophical dynamics being played out here between someone’s moral and social values on this topic.
If she had know that this man was a convicted sex offender from along time ago, then she probably would have never worked for him. Yet, because she has just found out, and confirmed this, this changes everything. Her tie, as part of her relationship as an employer employee connection with him exists, it appears to be a far stronger tie than I would have expected. The level of merit between her and her boss has changed significantly. This change is so strong that she is even willing to forgo the fear and anger of what this man is in her mind, based upon his past, that she has told me that she will decide over time rather than making her decision based on anger on the spot.
I can see that this has changed the quality of the relationship between her and her work, as I can assume that she will be looking over her shoulders continuously now. But, before this, being employed by this man for roughly a year now, what has really changed?
I hope you, dear reader, can make your own informed assumptions about this post. I have left the names of both people out of this, but felt that it is an important topic to blog about. This is after all one of our biggest social fears today. Your comments are welcomed.