Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect - Page 2

Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect

This is a discussion on Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Rambo may be good at the movies, but in real life trying to be a Rambo will get you or someone else killed, injured or ...

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Thread: Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Rambo may be good at the movies, but in real life trying to be a Rambo will get you or someone else killed, injured or sued into oblivion.

    Risking your life, your job and your families finacial security over a purse doesn't really make a lot of sense if you sit back and think on it.

    A major retailer used to let their loss prevention folks pursue outside the store. One day a shoplifter took off out the door and the loss prevention guy gave chase. In the middle of the lot the BG pulled a gun, turned and fired. He missed to loss prevention guy, but hit the kid out gathering carts and killed him.

    Was the life of the cart kid worth it? Don't think so.
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  2. #17
    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    As bad as most of us want to help,most big retailers will can you for chasing thieves. A long time ago I spent 8 years as a manager for Autozone. The rule book spelled it out,and employees had to agree and sign,do not chase a thief,for any reason. All these companies care about is making money and avoiding lawsuits. The individual does not matter to them. Neither does right and wrong.

    I have to disagree with this simplistic view of business motives.

    I do agree with Janq's view.
    I employ almost a thousand people, one screw up that causes a lawsuit that causes us to go out of business causes 1,000 people to lose thier jobs, and the hundreds of suppliers who rely on our purchases will lose employees also. Yes all the business should care about is staying in business, making money, and creating more jobs.
    And I am NOT SORRY to say that.

    Personally I would not fire a guy for that but I am not in the retail business either so I have never had that no chase thieves policy.

    P.S. If I owned a pizza delivery shop I would make sure every driver had a CCL and carried on the job.

  3. #18
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    Some interesting perspectives from those on the other side of the fence (GreenHorn, PaulG, and Janq). From their perspectives it is easy to understand the legal/financial problems from such actions...but the 'heart' has to be in there somewhere.
    Would any of you have fired that employee?
    Curious...
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  4. #19
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    ...Now, if the employee acted to defend someone from a violent attack, then I would have a different opinion. The potential benefit obtained from defending someone is much greater than the potential cost.

    But, just to get back a purse? No way.

    I feel for the employee since he acted with his heart in good faith but he really did act inappropriately.
    Ditto and agreed Paul.

    I'd even assist the employees family with legal costs, if it could be afforded, if it came to that toward legal defense of an employee or customer as against a violent attack.

    But for a purse full of easily and very cheaply replaced paper & plastic bits and maybe a cell phone at best...no way and not acceptable.
    If a company goes south and has to lay off people to cover associated superhero costs or is forced out of business (!) that net affect trickles up, down, and sideways widely. Much more so than a the loss value of a single purse.

    Again folks don't get me wrong I am not pro crime and criminal.
    Nor are many companys as toward specific items and policys such as this.
    Very simply people meaning to do well don't always do or fair well. As a result people as employees and third partys too tend to make all manner of claims and they will sue no matter how small your business might be.
    As fact claims and lawsuits are sucking the life force out of America at the employer level alone. Policys such as this have come along not to support crime and criminality but to mitigate losses as well as to a good degree provide employees with direction and at times to literally protect them from them self. :|

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  5. #20
    Member Array dhbry232's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    As fact claims and lawsuits are sucking the life force out of America at the employer level alone. Policys such as this have come along not to support crime and criminality but to mitigate losses as well as to a good degree provide employees with direction and at times to literally protect them from them self. :|
    - Janq
    Just goes to show the sorry state of affairs our legal system has spawned in this country. Talk about the law of unintended consequences! Just seems to encourage the criminal element to be bolder and take even more risks.
    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    No, it's completely different.


    I know my sentiment and comment will not be popular here but these are facts and realitys that employees and employers face daily as events occur daily.

    - Janq
    Probably not but you are absolutely correct nevertheless. Randall's policy is pretty standard everywhere and, as you have pointed out, there are several good reasons why.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Like Jang said it comes down to Store Liability,you may do what your Moral compass tells you is right,but there may be consequences,If the employee had been injured or killed while on the clock,the store would have been fighting liability issues
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  8. #23
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Some interesting perspectives from those on the other side of the fence (GreenHorn, PaulG, and Janq). From their perspectives it is easy to understand the legal/financial problems from such actions...but the 'heart' has to be in there somewhere.
    Would any of you have fired that employee?
    In my heart I would not want to fire him.
    But...He made his choice.

    The employee signs his letter of voluntary _at will_ and _conditional_ employment.;
    The employee signs a document(s) certifying that he both received and read as well as understood the contents of the at will conditional employment manual detailing rules, regulations, and procedures as related to employment and maintaining that status;
    The employee made his choice.

    Moral compass and what ever inclusive we as adults should all know and well understand there is no free lunch.
    You make an action and well there almost always is some result as related to that action. It may be positive or it may be negative.
    The employee choosing to do what he thinks is morally right is one thing. Doing so as under the guise of your employer who has policy to the opposite is another.

    The employee makes a choice.
    As my mom used to tell me all the time when I was coming up; "You make your bed and then you lie in it."
    She was full of one liners and country style sayings, had one for every day of the month it seemed.
    Damn if she wasn't on point too. Even as I didn't care to hear her nor admit to as much, when I was a child.

    Yes I would censor this employee.
    I'd have to. It's stated as such in the at will conditional employment rules & regs book, that the employee signed.
    Not to censor an employee who acts out of line with policy is akin to leaving open the barn door....as momma used to say.
    As well if I did not censor this employee then the next employee will do same or worst and when he/she gets censored they will claim all manner of unfair treatment and even sue, people do this and this exact scenario does occur real world.
    So then I and the company would be not only back to square one but we'd possibly be found guilty by a an employment board or as in court of being capricious in rules & regs enforcement and by that wind up being legally forced to compensate the second employee and even forced to retain that person without follow on penalty. End result, you're now stuck with an employee who cannot be fired but for the most egregious of reasons and they know this so they continue on collecting checks and doing the bare minimum of work untill they either choose to quit, retire, or the company goes under.
    All thanks to some guy who had a feeling to be Batman and recover a stolen purse. If this sounds implausible I assure you much stranger and more convoluted has and does occur, real world.
    This is exactly how and why rules, regs, and laws as well as the legal system has come to be how it is today.

    Back to the employee though I don't know if I'd fire him.
    Maybe time off without pay so as to mitigate the inevitable bad press results. Yes that too must be taken int to account by management. Bad press alone can literally ruin a business. All for nothing the business or it's _other_ employees asked for.

    All because a single person got out of line and had some strong thought to go with their own moral compass and view, without thinking nor care toward his employer and/or his fellow coworkers own mouths that also have a desire and need to eat.

    If we all lived in a vacuum individually self employed and thus able to make up our own rules and regulations on the fly as we go then my commentary and this other side of the coin view would be moot.
    Real world though the vast majority of employees are not self employed and thus it is what it is.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  9. #24
    VIP Member Array BenGoodLuck's Avatar
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    You can contact Randalls/Safeway here http://www.randalls.com/IFL/Grocery/Contact-Us

    Ethics Hotline
    Safeway strives to maintain the highest level of honesty and integrity in its dealing(s) with employees and vendors. If you have any questions, concerns or information regarding business ethics or integrity in your dealings with Safeway, please contact our confidential Business Ethics Hotline at 1-866-239-1376 or email us at business.ethics@safeway.com
    Ben

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  10. #25
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    The firing was ridiculous. There are better ways to enforce the rules or make clear they should not be violated than to shoot yourself in the foot by bringing so much bad publicity to yourself, along with no doubt lots of lost business.

    They (the store) needs to pay more attention to their public image than to risk management if they want to stay in business.

    Heck, this happened in a northern suburb of Ausin, and there are plenty of places to shop plus lots of folks who will find the management's punitive action
    entirely unacceptable and go elsewhere.

    What the store should do now is immediately hire the guy back and apologize to the public for their present poor judgment. It doesn't matter if they are technically correct about protecting themselves from potential suits. What will keep them in business is not avoiding suits but keeping their customers.

    Having seen the fired guy on CNN, I wouldn't set foot in that store if I lived near there.

    And, I sincerely hope that as predicted on CNN, he will find that this turns out to be one of the best things that could have happened to him as someone with
    better judgment will offer him a better job.

  11. #26
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    I won't bother retyping the same things that Janq has written, but will only say that as an employer with over 100 employees between two locations I agree wholeheartedly. Understand, it's not only about the money, it's about survival of the business. I'm sure a lot of employers would reconsider their policies if tort laws were ever reformed, but in today's litigious society there really is no choice.

    As to whether I would have fired this employee, it comes down to how the policy was written. If the policy was that such an action may result in termination, I'd have gone with a couple days suspended without pay. If the policy is will result in termination, not much choice.

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  12. #27
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Some interesting perspectives from those on the other side of the fence (GreenHorn, PaulG, and Janq). From their perspectives it is easy to understand the legal/financial problems from such actions...but the 'heart' has to be in there somewhere.
    Would any of you have fired that employee?
    Curious...
    It depends on how strongly worded the policy was and how I presented it to the employees.

    If the policy read, and I verbally emphasized, that anyone going after a thief would be fired, then Yes I would fire him.

    If it is just a blurb in the policy manual saying not to chase thieves, I would probably give the guy a talking too, explain the risk he put me in and let him know that he will be terminated if it happens again.

    If you have a policy and don't enforce it, you also create legal risks for yourself.

    Face it guys, we are in a sad state of affairs in this country when it comes to legal liability. If you send an employee out to deliver something to a client and he blows through a red light and takes out a bunch of school kids, you are toast.

    You didn't tell him to drive recklessly but when the law suits start flying, it will be your company that takes the hit and this hit will most likely filter down to employees you now cannot afford to pay.

    I would love to see a law that says people who intervene to stop a crime get some sort of limited immunity against legal action, but since we don't have that, I damn sure am not going to risk my livelihood nor that of my employees just to make sure someone gets their purse back. Let 'em get insurance.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  13. #28
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    The firing was ridiculous. There are better ways to enforce the rules or make clear they should not be violated than to shoot yourself in the foot by bringing so much bad publicity to yourself, along with no doubt lots of lost business.
    If you have a policy stating that an employee will be subject to immediate termination if they perform an action and the employee does that action anyway, what could you possibly do to enforce the rules short of termination?

    I mean, obviously the threat of firing had no effect on him.

    Now, if the policy was vague about the punishment, then I would by all means come up with something less harsh than firing.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  14. #29
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Home depot did the same thing . They are afraid of a lawsuit . They would rather have some crook rob them blind and write it off. In cases like this the moral right dose not win. It's not a case of who is right . It's a case of some sleezy lawyer or ambulance chaser going after the big stores because that is where the money is. If this is the store's policy they should tell the employees and not fire them. The stores don't care about the loss , they just raise the price the honest customer pays or cheapen the product.

  15. #30
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenHorn View Post
    I have to disagree with this simplistic view of business motives.

    I do agree with Janq's view.
    I employ almost a thousand people, one screw up that causes a lawsuit that causes us to go out of business causes 1,000 people to lose thier jobs, and the hundreds of suppliers who rely on our purchases will lose employees also. Yes all the business should care about is staying in business, making money, and creating more jobs.
    And I am NOT SORRY to say that.

    Personally I would not fire a guy for that but I am not in the retail business either so I have never had that no chase thieves policy.

    P.S. If I owned a pizza delivery shop I would make sure every driver had a CCL and carried on the job.
    I respect your opinion.A large portion of my life I have been self employed, in small business, not in as large a business as you though. I do understand the big box and other large retailers. They are as cold blooded as it gets. You can die for all they care. Their only concern is whom to replace you with. If you are a white male you are either on the board of directors or you are at the bottom of the food chain. Perhaps I believe in loyalty and honor. Those two things have nothing to do with these large corporations. They rarely let people retire. They will find a reason to dump you before you get there. You probably run an honest business and believe in an honest days pay for an honest days work.I respect that. These monster companies are a different breed.

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