Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in Rhode Island

Friend fired, they want him to pay

I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the correct area of law, but I'll give it a shot.

Basically, My friend worked overnight as a cashier for a 24-hour store. They fired him a few weeks ago, saying he aided a thief. He did not, he didn't know the person was a thief and was doing what they trained him to do with returns w/o a receipt. The theft happened in October, they fired him at the end of January because they were ''trying to build a case against'' him, saying they had video of him joking around with the thief. Now they want him to pay $500 (originally they told him $1500) to cover what the thief stole during my friend's shift.

We've been telling my friend he should fight this, or at least see a lawyer for a consultation, but he doesn't think he has a case. Is it even legal for the company to do this? It seems a bit ridiculous to me, since no one ever told him to look out for this guy when the managers supposedly knew about him beforehand.

Asked on 2/19/07, 1:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Staff General Counsel LawyersCollaborative

Re: Friend fired, they want him to pay

If your friend did not steal or help anyone else steal, then he should not pay anything. Hopefully, he did not already sign any kind of "confession."

There was a convenience store chain years ago that was sued for, as I recall, having more or less of a standard operating procedure where they would have store "detectives" allegedly regularly accuse employees of stealing and strong-arm the employees into signing confessions and agreeing to "repay" money even where the employee may have done nothing wrong.

If your friend did not steal or conspire to steal, he should see a lawyer. The RI Bar Association even has a Volunteer Lawyer Program that might provide him with a lawyer at no charge.

Best wishes to your friend,


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Answered on 2/19/07, 1:46 pm

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