Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect - Page 3

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; karma is on his side.. good man, an asset to society....

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Thread: Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect

  1. #31
    Member Array compact's Avatar
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    karma is on his side..

    good man, an asset to society.


  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhbry232 View Post
    Hey all you Texans out there: Randall's policy is for safety, spokeswoman says. Randalls employee fired for chasing theft suspect
    So this guy put his life on the line for someone else's stuff? Nice ending on this one. Could easily have been "Hero shot through the pump as he rounded the corner chasing a purse snatcher".
    -Tony

    "Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson

  3. #33
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    To the folks who provided the employers' view that the employee was wrong for violating a company policy, I'll simply say that I understand. However, given the overall positive outcome of this incident, I think there are a range of employer actions possible which fall short of dismissal. The "errant" employee could be given a couple of days off without pay to contemplate his "wanton" disregard for company policies; he could be subjected to re-training to drive the rules home; or he could be "officially" reprimanded and warned that subsequent disregard for company policies would result in dismissal. Any of these would serve to drive home the point that the guy put his employer at risk, but would not put the guy and his family into their own financial risk in this economically troubled time.

    To me, the all-or-nothing approach that this employee "must" be fired for his actions is a "zero tolerance" policies which eliminates intelligent judgment of facts and outcomes and substitutes a rigid, binary rule set.

  4. #34
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    Vilified, for doing the right thing.

    A good example of the judgment-less, dumbing-down of America.
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  5. #35
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    cvhoss, who owns the company, who wrote the rule

    Quote Originally Posted by cvhoss View Post

    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.

    Hoss
    Uh, who owns the company, who wrote the rule?

    Your instinct that a couple days suspension would be appropriate is correct. Now, since you I think own your own company, it really wouldn't matter what that book said; you can change the rule.

    Obviously Randall's local management don't own the company and didn't write the rule, but Corporate headquarters still has a great deal of latitude in upholding and enforcing the rule book.

    They chose to go with risk management over public relations. Only time will tell which one will cost them more money. Oh, we already know. The fired employee's act cost Randall's nothing. The bad publicity, who knows, but it is probably costing them.

    It isn't too late for them to fix things, but not if they act like jerks.

    Once this hit CNN they should have hired a public relations person to deal with things and fired their risk manager.

  6. #36
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    G-d gave us brains

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    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.
    G-d gave us brains. When we don't use them wisely we make fools of ourselves. This is what happened to Randalls. Their problem has nothing to do with risk management, employee policy manuals, or anything of the sort. It is now about a public relations debacle.

    I also think that looking carefully at the totality of the situation, where the man's actual encounter with the thief was off their property, they could be looking at a wrongful termination suit as well as their public relations mess.

    The proper thing to have done would have been to quietly issue the employee a letter of reprimand, dock a day's pay, and send an e-mail to everyone that to protect the interests of the company certain behavior is being discouraged.

    And, they could have just ignored things.

    Instead, they have made themselves look really bad and heartless, in a community where the Texas attitude toward criminals prevails. That's gonna be just great for their business. No brains.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    G-d gave us brains. When we don't use them wisely we make fools of ourselves. This is what happened to Randalls. Their problem has nothing to do with risk management, employee policy manuals, or anything of the sort. It is now about a public relations debacle.

    I also think that looking carefully at the totality of the situation, where the man's actual encounter with the thief was off their property, they could be looking at a wrongful termination suit as well as their public relations mess.

    The proper thing to have done would have been to quietly issue the employee a letter of reprimand, dock a day's pay, and send an e-mail to everyone that to protect the interests of the company certain behavior is being discouraged.

    And, they could have just ignored things.

    Instead, they have made themselves look really bad and heartless, in a community where the Texas attitude toward criminals prevails. That's gonna be just great for their business. No brains.
    Actually, I think the company did good. I would go out of my way to shop there since they take their responsiblity of stewardship for the financial welfare of the shareholders and employees seriously even if some people do get their nose out of joint.

    You are looking at this emotionally. Sure it feels good to support the hero of the story. But when you run a company, you have a duty to safeguard the shareholders and employees interests.

    If things had gone wrong during this incident, the result could be that the investors lose their money and employees lose their job.

    If the guy was aware of the policy, I have no problem with canning him. He has just proven that he will pick and choose the policies he will follow. An employee like that will just increase my headaches.

    I think the management DID use its brains instead of its emotions.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  8. #38
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    Well, folks judging from the posts here we can discern 2 things:

    There are those who publicly (and secretly) applaud the company for what they did.

    And there are those who totally support what the employee did.

    That's why Texans are different from everybody else in what was the good ol' USA; with us its not about liabilities, or "bidness" as we say down here, it is about what is right and what is wrong, and having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the wrong regardless of the consequences. That is what separates good men from apathy and mediocrity. I guarantee you my Grandfathers' generation (some of the last real men) in this country would not have hesitated to come to aid of that Woman, regardless of where she was. And if he had heard that I was standing there, and copped the attitude I have heard regarding liabilities, he would have slapped me silly on the spot for not doing my civic duty and coming to the aid of a woman in distress. 50 years ago, there would have been 10 men running that criminal down, and probably would have been seriously injured before the police got there because "he fell down" a couple of times. I also think the same thing would have happened on the way to the jailhouse as well. And there would have been no lawsuits, either. The criminal would have been held completley responsible for his actions, including any collateral damage that may have occured.

    But here again, thats why we are different here in Texas.
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  9. #39
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Well, folks judging from the posts here we can discern 2 things:

    There are those who publicly (and secretly) applaud the company for what they did.

    And there are those who totally support what the employee did.

    That's why Texans are different from everybody else in what was the good ol' USA; with us its not about liabilities, or "bidness" as we say down here, it is about what is right and what is wrong, and having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the wrong regardless of the consequences. That is what separates good men from apathy and mediocrity. I guarantee you my Grandfathers' generation (some of the last real men) in this country would not have hesitated to come to aid of that Woman, regardless of where she was. And if he had heard that I was standing there, and copped the attitude I have heard regarding liabilities, he would have slapped me silly on the spot for not doing my civic duty and coming to the aid of a woman in distress. 50 years ago, there would have been 10 men running that criminal down, and probably would have been seriously injured before the police got there because "he fell down" a couple of times. I also think the same thing would have happened on the way to the jailhouse as well. And there would have been no lawsuits, either. The criminal would have been held completley responsible for his actions, including any collateral damage that may have occured.

    But here again, thats why we are different here in Texas.
    Oh yeah! You can pat yourself on the back for being a righteous dude when your employees are looking for work and blaming you.

    That's not having intestinal fortitude, that's a total disregard for the realities of running a business.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  10. #40
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    Lost business can come from either course

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    Oh yeah! You can pat yourself on the back for being a righteous dude when your employees are looking for work and blaming you.

    That's not having intestinal fortitude, that's a total disregard for the realities of running a business.
    Look, lost revenue or additional expense end up being the same deal either way. In one case you have the risk your insurer will have to make a pay out and maybe raise your rates, in the other you have a public relations debacle and maybe lose revenue. Either way, if you don't play your hand well, you as a biz person are going to lose.

    There was a middle ground here short of firing the man which would have discouraged the unwanted behavior in the future and avoided the public relations issue.

    Further, they may still be subject to a suit. At will employment doesn't protect the employer from liability for any and all firings. Some things are going to be wrongful no matter what. You can bet someone will file a wrongful termination, claim that the store's policy is against public policy, and the store will be paying anyway.

    Cool heads needed to prevail at corporate, and they didn't.

  11. #41
    Senior Member Array PaulG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Look, lost revenue or additional expense end up being the same deal either way. In one case you have the risk your insurer will have to make a pay out and maybe raise your rates, in the other you have a public relations debacle and maybe lose revenue. Either way, if you don't play your hand well, you as a biz person are going to lose.

    There was a middle ground here short of firing the man which would have discouraged the unwanted behavior in the future and avoided the public relations issue.

    Further, they may still be subject to a suit. At will employment doesn't protect the employer from liability for any and all firings. Some things are going to be wrongful no matter what. You can bet someone will file a wrongful termination, claim that the store's policy is against public policy, and the store will be paying anyway.

    Cool heads needed to prevail at corporate, and they didn't.
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Stay safe.
    fortiter in re, suaviter in modo (resolutely in action, gently in manner).

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    That's why Texans are different from everybody else in what was the good ol' USA; with us its not about liabilities, or "bidness" as we say down here, it is about what is right and what is wrong, and having the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the wrong regardless of the consequences. That is what separates good men from apathy and mediocrity.
    Then I guess I'll have to count myself among the mediocre and I will never be a Texan. I refuse to make my wife a widow and my children an orphan defending my own stuff, let alone other people's stuff.
    -Tony

    "Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson

  13. #43
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    Cool-and yes, stay safe

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Stay safe.
    Cool.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    Uh, who owns the company, who wrote the rule?

    Your instinct that a couple days suspension would be appropriate is correct. Now, since you I think own your own company, it really wouldn't matter what that book said; you can change the rule...........
    Unfortunately, it's just not that simple. Do I own my businesses? Yes, but they are franchise operations which means I have to contend with the provisions of my license agreement. As to established policies, not only do I have to meet license agreement requirements, we routinely receive notices from our insurance companies outlining steps that we have to take if we want our insurance policies renewed. No business can afford to operate without insurance and in most cases, can't even get a business license to operate without proof of adequate insurance. These are the things that we have to deal with every day just to stay in business.

    Don't get me wrong. In a perfect world, I'd like to grab the little purse snatching punk myself and give him a couple of good head slams into the pavement. In the real world, this wasn't a life or death situation. It was a purse snatching and any threat of bodily injury was over and, in fact, never occurred. The only possibility of injury occurred only during the subsequent chase. I've already answered how I would have handled this depending on the wording of the employee policy. But that wording can, and mostly usually is, dictated by multiple sources.

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  15. #45
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    I understand, CV

    Quote Originally Posted by cvhoss View Post
    These are the things that we have to deal with every day just to stay in business.

    Don't get me wrong. In a perfect world, I'd like to grab the little purse snatching punk myself and give him a couple of good head slams into the pavement.
    Hoss
    CV, I understand what you are saying, but to stay in business as a retailer you need to avoid offending your customer base. This particular store is located in an area where I suspect their actions will not be taken well by the customers. I say that because though I live 100 miles from there, my son was married just up the road. It is "country" Texas near there, and ordinary customers won't sympathize with the store.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that while I certainly understand the tight corner the business owner is in, over a barrel from the insurer, I think there were solutions available here, and also steps available to avoid lost biz from a public relations viewpoint.

    Now, as to your point that you would like to "grab the little purse snatching punk" yourself, would you really do so in light of everything we have just discussed? Or, would you personally hesitate because of fear of your insurer or your franchise agreement?

    I'm thinking that your instinct as a good citizen would be to do the right thing, the rest of it be .....

    About 10 years ago I attended a meeting on the impact of food poisoning incidents on food businesses; typically devastating. A big part of managing the economic damage is having a solid public relations plan in place and using a public relations firm experienced in the relevant legal issues and food safety regulations.

    All I'm saying here is that the store got behind the public relations curve the instant the man went on CNN. Then, instead of mitigating their damage, they have made things worse by not reacting in a way that would make the guy look like a hero to the public, show contrition for their mistake, and yet meet their obligations to their insurer. It isn't impossible to think of smoother ways to handle this particular incident and make a win-win-win out of it instead of a debacle.

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