VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Someone who gets caught in a Creep Catchers video may never get charged, and as such may never serve time in jail.
But when it comes to your employment, you’re not necessarily presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“An employer doesn’t have to presume anyone is innocent before it takes steps to protect children in its care or to protect its reputation,” says Leo McGrady, a labour law expert.
He says employers are entitled to take action if evidence is credible.
A UBC employee, a Coast Mountain bus driver, a Surrey police officer and most recently a local school principal are all accused of luring under-aged kids after being confronted by members of Creep Catchers.
In the case of the police officer, the bus driver and the principal, they were removed from their duties, in the absence of any criminal charges being laid.
“We don’t suggest an employer has the right to fire someone. That would be illegal. But if there is a real risk to its clientele or children in their care, they have the right to suspend immediately.”
And that would be suspension without pay, unless stipulated in a collective agreement.
But McGrady cautions any employer from relying solely on a Creep Catchers video for taking action, because of the possibility of misidentification.
“I would be very reluctant if I were an employer to act on evidence that was given to me by a vigilante group with a clear agenda. It’s because of the frailty of the identification.”
And he says an employee can sue for wrongful suspension or dismissal if the case doesn’t result in charges.
So far, only Surrey police officer Dario Devic has been charged.
Creep Catchers sets up meetings with people who’ve been led to believe they are communicating online with under-aged children. The group then confronts the person, catching the moments on video and posting them on their website.