How can I professionally change circumstances so I no longer work with a convicted rapist?

I made a very significant edit to this question as it was quickly bound to be deleted, given it's content.

However there are a few answers there and some meta conversation under the question now so I'm opening this to try to be a good place to try to figure out what to do with the question.

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    I don't think anything more needs to be done with this question after your good edits. Perhaps just keep the comments/answers on track as you usually do. What concerns you? Sep 25, 2017 at 22:55
  • @JoeStrazzere there were a few comments on the question itself that were turning into a meta conversation, which is better suited here.
    – enderland
    Sep 25, 2017 at 23:03
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    I see. I think the appropriate response is to move comments to Chat, right? I'm assuming you can't move the comments here. Sep 25, 2017 at 23:17
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    It seems to me like the real question the OP was looking for an answer to is "How can I professionally slander my co-worker?" The edited version seems no different from the standard "how do I get away from a co-worker I can't work with?" Sep 26, 2017 at 0:03
  • Your edit was great. None of the answers are invalidated by it. If people earn down votes because they were too harsh on the OP, well they can edit them to be less harsh or leave them as is and accept the results. Sep 26, 2017 at 0:12
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    "Note that quitting my job/seeking legal advice, the stock replies of The Workplace, will NOT be accepted as answers as they are NOT appropriate in this case. Thanks." The question will never be answered so. The "rapist" paid for his crime. OP have nothing to do except change himself. Answers that have been made are the best possible.. Sep 26, 2017 at 7:25
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    We have dealt with this before and I believe this edit is in line with the results of the previous meta: workplace.meta.stackexchange.com/q/2168/16 Sep 26, 2017 at 14:36
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    @IDrinkandIKnowThings - I believe my answer was the harshest. I called the OP out on his attempt at vigilantism, and I don't back off from that position. I followed the "Be nice" policy as well as it could have been in this case. I saw some downvotes, and I had no problem with them. However, Enderland's edits made it a much more answerable question, and my answer no longer fit the question, so I deleted it. I believe Enderland made the right call. Sep 27, 2017 at 19:34
  • @WesleyLong - Not in my opinion it wasnt the harshest but it was also not in line with be nice. RichardU's answer was both harsh and in line with be nice, and it actually answered the question instead of just throwing snark. Sep 27, 2017 at 19:42
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    Perhaps the best edit ever. Sep 27, 2017 at 19:51
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings - I wasn't throwing snark. That was the answer that the question needed. It was as nice as could be. That's why Enderland's edit was so appreciated. A question rooted in abuse, vigilantism, and underhandedness can't get a "nice" answer. It's not in context. Enderland made it something appropriate, as a question. Sep 27, 2017 at 20:00
  • Depending on the circumstances of the rape, what is wrong with some mild vigilantism? I once refused to shake a govt ministers hand because he's a well known sexual predator despite having got off all seven separate complaints about him.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Sep 27, 2017 at 21:15

6 Answers 6


I do not believe that the question should be deleted. This is a subject that could well come up in the workplace and deserves some balanced discussion without the shackles of judgemental deletion.

People commit crimes, they serve their time, and they go through the process of rehabilitation into normal society. They get jobs, and amazingly they're not all on building sites or road crews. Some of them enter the same workplace as you or I.

Yes, sexual and abuse-related crimes are despicable, but I don't think that burying these kinds of questions is appropriate.

I agree that this subject can attract heightened emotions and subsequent negative comments, but we can edit these out to provide a rational discussion of the issues at play.


I think that, after your edit, the question is not so controversial anymore and is even more answerable now.

However, there seems to be some underlying discrimination from part of the OP that seems to bias the opinions/answers given there. This is the problem IMHO, as the OP's problem is with the person and his past conviction, that seems not strongly related to the professional setting, and is more a "I don't like my coworker, what can I do" question therefore.

However, I see no future problems that could arise from the post now it has been improved with edits (perhaps just a few more iterations of an open-close war but eventually will stop).

  • As I hinted at in my answer, I think that the current edits make the question so generic that it's indeed a duplicate of "I don't like my coworker, what can I do" questions, so if that's the direction that's chosen for the question I don't think it adds value and should therefore be deleted.
    – Cronax
    Sep 26, 2017 at 9:31
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    @Cronax - If it is a duplicate the appropriate action is not to delete it but to mark it as a duplicate to assist future users with finding the answer to their problems Sep 28, 2017 at 15:17
  • This goes a little past your typical "dislike my coworker" question, because the animus is much deeper here, and gets into safety questions -- does the guy bring his wife and daughters to company picnic. And knotty questions -- what to say when other coworkers notice and ask "Jeez OP why do you dislike that guy so much?" I'd err on the side of not marking as duplicate.
    – akaioi
    Oct 7, 2017 at 21:09

Delete the question.

We do not want to deal with controversial subjects here that might offend people so since this is offensive to some lets just delete the question and move on. The question is unlikely to be helpful to anyone in the future and the OP is more than likely incredibly turned off by their SE experience anyway.

So on the off chance this is a real person with a real problem delete it. If it is someone trying to get to HNQ(My belief) then the deletion serves this SE best anyway.

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    I agree with this. I would like to see the question deleted for the same reasons spelled out in this answer.
    – Neo
    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:32

Having read the revision history of the question, I'm starting to think that the edits went too far. While the OP obviously has strong feelings on the subject, holds incorrect beliefs and is thinking along completely the wrong lines for the solution, I don't see how that means they can't ask their question or that their question is not answerable. I've seen plenty of questions where the right answer is "your premises is wrong, here's what your real problem is and here's how you could go about solving it". I've provided answers for such questions in the past. I would propose to revert some of the edits in favour of new ones that make it clear what the poster's belief is (I get the distinct impression that he believes the coworker has no right to be working there, or even at all), perhaps taking some of the emotion out of the language, and then to answer the question as such.

I believe that the OP is not alone in their belief that being a convicted felon is grounds for dismissal and as such, I advocate keeping this question and providing an answer that makes it clear (in neutral language) that convicted felons do have the right to employment and that instead, the only correct solution is for the OP to either deal with their feelings or to changejobs.

I think Richard U's answer is headed in the right direction but is currently responding to the strong language in the original OP with a direct approach where I think a more neutral 'by the facts' approach is more appropriate (currently it comes across as almost ad-hominem).

To clarify, I propose to edit the question into a less hostile/emotional "I found out that I'm working with a convicted felon, am I correct in believing that he shouldn't have been employed by my employer" to which the answer would be "No, you are not correct, if you are unable to maintain a professional attitude with the colleague your only options are to request some sort of transfer or to start looking for a new job".

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    Did you scroll down as far as this answer, which clearly indicates that employees with prior convictions cannot be discriminated against on the basis of those prior convictions? As a bonus, there's a citation relevant to the OPs country.
    – user44108
    Sep 26, 2017 at 9:21
  • @SnarkShark I think that's about the right tone, but that answer is missing the solution to the OP's problem and while the current OP might not be looking for that solution, future googlers ought to find it in the answer.
    – Cronax
    Sep 26, 2017 at 9:23
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    There's nothing to prevent you from providing your own answer that supplies the necessary information and guidance. However, I think that the sum total of the answers provided so far (or at least a few of them) covers the basis. As always, multiple answers provides a overview of opinions. Sometimes, one answer isn't the full answer.
    – user44108
    Sep 26, 2017 at 9:30
  • @SnarkShark If people agree with my approach I'd be happy to either edit one of the existing answers or to supply one of my own, but in its current state I think the question is a duplicate and should be deleted.
    – Cronax
    Sep 26, 2017 at 9:33
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    Do not edit someone else's answer to fit your narative. You can edit to correct errors or improve the general language/layout, but you cannot change/add/remove details they've added that you feel are relevant or not (If it doesn't break our current rules). It'd be better to provide your own answer then modifying someone else's
    – Draken
    Sep 26, 2017 at 12:24
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    I found out that I'm working with a convicted felon, am I correct in believing that he shouldn't have been employed by my employer - This question is off topic (company specific policy) Sep 26, 2017 at 14:39
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings No it's not - it's a country-specific policy.
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 7, 2017 at 9:02
  • @wizzwizz4 - This isnt about the law this asking about a moral or logical judgement Oct 7, 2017 at 13:07
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings It's illegal to not employ the convicted felon because the person is a convicted felon. Therefore the user is not correct that the convicted felon should not have been employed, assuming that the person is otherwise suitable.
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 7, 2017 at 14:59
  • @wizzwizz4 and that is where the problem is here. People want to opine about how bad the OP is for wanting the person gone. Oct 7, 2017 at 15:56
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings Does that mean that it's off-topic?
    – wizzwizz4
    Oct 7, 2017 at 16:34
  • @Wizzwizz4 - That answer is not constructive, so it doesnt belong here... So its a conundrum here, the question is potentially acceptable but the community is having difficulty with restrianing itself from repeatedly and intentionally violating the be nice policy Oct 7, 2017 at 20:46

The meta discussion was triggered by my controversial custom close reason, and it appears that my point has been misunderstood, so let me clarify. This is the custom close reason:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question has been substantially edited to invalidate several existing answers, and so it should be deleted altogether.

I like enderland's edit, and if that was the original question to start with, I would have no problems with it. However, the edit removes a key ingredient of the original question. The OP was clearly looking for ways to get the coworker fired for a crime that happened at least 20 years ago, and for which he has already served the punishment laid down by his country's laws.

This is a clear example of an XY problem. While providing the OP ideas on how to avoid working with this coworker can certainly appear to resolve the current problem, it doesn't strike at the root of the problem, which is the OP's belief that the coworker should be given additional punishment over and above that given by the law.

Most of the answers seem to provide him options to avoid working with the "tainted" coworker, thus implicitly acknowledging that it is reasonable and appropriate to shun an ex-criminal in this manner. Only Richard's answer seems to strike at the root of the issue, and his answer doesn't sound particularly rude, although it may be blunt.

While the edit reduces the opinionbait, and is much more generic and answerable, it is not what the OP was looking for, and brushing his actual issue under the rug to make the question less controversial doesn't help him either.

As a result of the edit, the existing answer(s?) which addressed the actual issue suddenly sound needlessly critical of the OP and some parts of it, such as calling out the OP on his plan to get the coworker fired, make no sense. It is certainly an option for the answer to be edited to match the new question, but making edits which require substantial edits to existing answers is explicitly discouraged. Moreover, if we allowed that, then everyone who posts an answer will have to keep monitoring edits to every question that they may have answered ages ago to check if their answer needs to be edited.

However, I wouldn't want a good edit to be reverted to a put the question back into its original controversial state, so I thought it best to recommend that the question be deleted altogether.

I do not feel particularly strongly about this issue, so if the community decides to keep the question and demand that the existing answers be edited to match the edited question, then I won't argue against it.

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    such as calling out the OP on his plan to get the coworker fired - If this violates the be nice policy it doesnt belong in the answer anyway... (For the record I support that answer as the best one even after edits) Sep 26, 2017 at 14:34
  • Two comments on this. 1. Answers that now seem off topic can be edited to include a note like "The question was edited from its original form in which the OP was searching punishment for the colleague. This answer was written before those edits and adresses the punishment aspect." 2. SE sites are not just for helping people out (and I think the OP gets sensible answers here), but to have a Q&A repository. The current question fits fine into that.
    – user8036
    Sep 30, 2017 at 15:57
  • The goal of having a Q&A repository doesn't justify editing a question way beyond the original OP's intended question. Such a question can be created separately. Regardless of whether our goal is to help people or not, people come here to get help with their situation, not to contribute to a repository. There is no reason to link the question with a user account if it is just meant to be part of a repository.
    – Masked Man
    Sep 30, 2017 at 16:13

Please delete the question.

We don't want to talk about rapists and terrorists. They're evil people and thus inappropriate to the site.

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