Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: My boss fired a worker who was found guilty of snitching goods from the workplace. He pleaded guilty after a polygraph (lie detector) exam, which proved the suspicion against him.

The details of the incident were not officially publicized, but some information leaked out. Customers have been approaching me to find out “what really happened to so-and-so?” or “why was he fired?”

It is important for me to have an acceptable response. Additionally, I heard that that worker is looking for a job elsewhere. Am I obligated to warn them that the worker was caught in larceny?

A: It is forbidden to give people details of the incident if they are inquiring out of curiosity. Tell them you don’t know. If the questioner is interested in hiring him for a job, you are permitted to say that you heard he was accused of pocketing merchandise that disappeared, but that you don’t know if the rumors are founded.

If you are not approached about the fired worker, you probably do not have to take the initiative to forewarn them, because the talk has no real basis.

The questions and answers above were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.