Under Pressure? What to do until help arrives
(For EACC Members Only)
If you are accused of child abuse, assault, or any other criminal charge:
DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THE CASE. Tell the Principal, parent, Police Officer, or social services worker that you will be happy to answer their questions as soon as you have an attorney present. They must respect your right to have an attorney present during questioning — EVEN IF THAT MEANS POSTPONING THE MEETING.
- Call the EACC office immediately at 301.392.0150. Advise the person who answers that you are being accused of a crime and need an attorney. If for any reason you are unable to reach someone at the EACC office, call MSEA headquarters in Annapolis at 1.800.448.6782 and ask to speak to an attorney.
- If you are unable to reach the UniServ Director at EACC or an MSEA attorney, advise the Principal, administrator, DSS, investigator, or police officer that the questioning will have to be rescheduled until you can have an attorney present and that you will advise them as soon as you have arranged for representation. They can contact your attorney by calling MSEA.
- DO NOT allow yourself to be manipulated into discussing the case without legal counsel. The vast majority of complaints are false, but your response can easily be twisted or misconstrued.
- Promises like “Just answer a few questions and we can close the book on this and go home.”
- Or insinuations like “You wouldn’t mind talking to us if you weren’t guilty right?” are NOT okay.
They are designed to help the investigators and the accusers, not you. Expedience is never a good reason to sacrifice your legal rights!
If you are accused by your supervisor of misconduct, incompetence, insubordination or impropriety (non-criminal):
- Advise the supervisor that the charge is one for which you could be reprimanded or suffer other disciplinary action and that you want to have an EACC representative attend the meetings held to discuss the charge.
- Contact your building’s EACC representative or call the EACC office at 301.392.0150. The building representative can accompany you to the meeting or we can arrange representation by an MSEA UniServ Director if the situation requires.
- If you are unable to reach the EACC office, advise your supervisor that you wish to postpone the meeting until you can have a representative present. If the supervisor insists that the meeting proceed, you must attend in order not to be insubordinate, but don’t discuss the charge. Your best bet is to repeat, “I’ll be happy to respond to that when I have a union representative present.”