Sunday, August 16, 2009
Adjunct Law Prof Blog reported on Vick's arrested and reproduced a copy of the criminal indictment, available here. Now he is out of prison after serving time for unspeakable crimes inflicted upon defenseless dogs. The Eagles rehired him. This gives us the opportunity to discuss an important issue as Vick is not the first person to go to jail and then seek to be hired.
I have personally represented many many individuals who engaged in what is referred to as "off duty misconduct." It can be a crime like DWI or something more serious and un-speakable. Should that person loose his job? Well, in most jurisdictions which afford a due process type of hearing to the employee, the law is that the employee can be fired if there is a nexus to work. Where an employee is a role model, just about any criminal felony conviction speaks to morality and therefore, will satisfy the nexus requirement. Note, the employee may not be fired if there is a nexus; but he will get some type of penalty such as a suspension and very well may be fired.
What about Vick? Clearly this is off duty misconduct and clearly he is a role model. I submit that if he were anyone else, he would not have been hired for any job in the public eye. The only employment he possibly could get would be something where he was very much in the background and no one new who he was.
Therefore, I am very disappointed in the Eagles. They essentially gave preferential treatment that you or I would not have gotten.
Now, I do recognize he paid his debt to society, but that does not erase what he has done. He has no right to play football and he should have to struggle to find work just like every other x-con.
It is my hope that the Philadelphia fans will teach their team a lesson-its not all about winning at all costs.
And yes, I am a dog lover. And no, I am not an Eagles fan, and frankly I am not even a football fan.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein