So thank goodness for a POS system as it helped me keep track of my money and guess what? One of my employees has been stealing from me I lost 1400 dollars in the last month and was able to track who was working at what times and what they were ringing into the till. I also moved my video camera so it was directly over the till and started recording untill I got the suspected employee caught on tape. So here is my question. Do I fire him and charge him and ask for restitution. Or do I let him work it off but have no access to the cash (with my POS I can limit him to ordertaking only) My Gut says fire him but my heart says keep him. I really dont want to ruin his life with a criminal record and I think he has learned a lesson. I told him I would make a decission by Friday and he said he was sorry and wants to work it off by giving me half his check every payday. The kid has fammily issues and is made to pay rent at home plus he goes to school and he has to work. He said he took the money because he didnt get enough hours to pay for his rent and he also has to buy his own food. So do I give the kid a chance or should I just fire him?

$1,400 in one month going toward rent and food? This kid is lying to you.

And even if he’s not, there’s no way you should keep him on board. A truly honest person would have come and talked to you and requested more hours or maybe an advance. He could always take a second job if you can’t provide the hours he needs.

But he chose to steal from you. He’s inherently dishonest, and he will be again. He got caught, and he’s willing to pay it off so you don’t call the cops.

What message will you be giving to all employees if you keep him on. Theft is o.k., its just an indescetion? I don’t think so.

I presume the member is over 12 years old and would definately know that theft is not o.k. You don’t want to ruin his life? what about the selfish actions on his behalf which could ruin a business. $1400 may not be much to you but for some businesses who are struggling it could mean the difference between opening the doors in the morning and not opening at all.

I say make an example, sack him with a lot of ceremony and let everyone know you do not tolerate theives. Your other staff will respect you for it, fact.

Everyone can find a reasonable excuse to justify theft to exist, but you don’t.

I would talk to the local prosecutor and see if you can turn him in but have them supervise the restitution without making a criminal case out of it. That way you get paid back but the kid is under some sort of legal supervision (ie maybe he has done this before and you don’t know that yet).

Stealing $50 for rent or food is one thing, $1400 is a lot of money and I think that is over the forgive and forget limit.

I think firing him is the best decision you can make, although I do feel sorry for the kid and Iunderstand where you’re coming from.

I agree one hundred percent, fire him! 1400 bucks is definately not just food and rent, and even if it was for food and rent it is still stealing. I would also press charges if you have strong enough evidence, that way you send a strong message to you other employees. You could also be helping the kid out by getting him in some hot water now to possibly save him from making an even bigger mistake in the future.

I would fire him immediately and then give him the option of paying it back within a set time period or you will contact authorities. BUT GET A WRITTEN CONFESSION FIRST!!! It may suck but you HAVE to set an example. In a previous life I had a sub franchise and I told the kids that if you steal from me I’ll handle it personally. I caught a kid and gave him the choice of me and him going a round in the back alley or I call the police. He chose alley. I kicked his ass into the next week as the other employees watched. I had no thesft problem until a cops daughter stole from me. She dared me to hit her, I wisely did not take her up on the dare. She felt protected since daddy was a cop. So I got a signed confession from her and promised to let her pay it back over one month. She didn’t pay, so I called Daddy. Daddy tried to claim I had not given his kid her rights and made her sign under duress. I reminded him I didn’t have to give her her rights and that I would be more than happy to simply call the department and let them handle it. I called the department and before they did anything they called daddy and told him his daughter was in trouble, I had donated to every fundraiser they ever had and that not one cop had ever had to pay for his food at my store. They encouraged him to pay the money which he did by the end of the day. He actually apologized as well for behaivng like he did.

While I can understand wanting to handle something like this in the back alley, I would highly recommend against it! For doing something like that you could be sued and wind up losing your store, and who knows what else! Not to mention you could wind up going to jail right along with the person that stole from you. You just don’t know these days, the kid could come back months later with a gun and do you in along with your staff! Play it safe and stay on the right side of the law, still treat them with respect to show to your other employees that you are a professional!

Not sure why you would even want them around anymore. I’ve had to fire two in the year I have been opened. I could only prove how much they had stolen in a day or two, so who knows how much they made off with.
What are the laws when it comes to the pay you owe them?
I sent both their paychecks but felt like keeping them. Somebody told me legally they were owed that money?

I make it known in the hiring interview that any theft (food, pop, money, toilet paper for home, or anything else) is grounds for firing them on the spot with a police escort. I have found that most theifs are also liers. Is his sob story real or just a tug at you heart string so you will be easy on him?

My course of action would be get him out of there NOW! If he is taking money what else is he taking? Is he giving free food to friends?

Good point. The second person I fired I had caught a month or so earlier giving family free drinks and appetizers. I let her know that I knew and it was not acceptable. A month later I figure out she is also stealing money.

break his legs

I know some people who know some people. Just say the word.

I should be pouring the concrete slab for my place in about two weeks?

Thanks for all your replies, also I made a mistake it was over 2 months the money went missing not 1 month (not that it makes things any different) Ok so I was going to fire this guy as all of you suggested and he came to work friday and we sat down in my office, before I could say anything he appologized and said he didnt want to be fired as I am the only person who has taken an intrest in him, helped him out, talked about his problems etc and he really looks up to me. After all that was said and done he informed me he told his Dad everything that happened was totaly honest with him and asked for help. His Dad said to pay me back first he would wait for his money, and he then gave me some money towards his debt. Well I didnt know what to do so I said I need a few days to think about it and would get back to him. By the way the rest of the staff dont know it was him that took the money because I wasnt 100% sure for the first while so they were all suspects I didnt tell anyone yet that the problem is solved so as far as they know I am still looking. What about keeping him on as a dishwasher/cook only with no access to money? Am I being to soft?

You would be showing every single other employee how you handle theft in your store. When the next person comes along and steals from you, and there will for sure be a next person, you can’t do anything to them other than demote them as well. If you fire them, they have a case of discrimination against you because you did not fire the other guy. You set company policy with each and every action you take so be very careful.

By demoting him and not firing him you are showing you hand to the rest of the staff. “The boss won’t fire me IF I get caught and give him a sob story and I won’t have to deal with grumpy customers”

I still say let him go. Theft is not something to take lightly. I would also get the police involved as it would show all of you staff that you are serious.

You have got to fire this guy. No question about it. You are being used, and getting taken in by his sob story. This is exactly what he wants. The kid probably feels a lot of resentment towards you inside, and is covering it well. You were his sugar daddy for months. A poor home life is no reason at all to steal, and you will be doing him a huge favor by firing him and getting the police involved.

There is a reason why stealing over $500 is a felony. Under $500 over many months might be understandable, but $700 a month is way out of the ball park. Do you really think you caught every theft? If so, please hire me to work for you. I don’t even need a pay check, and I will work 80 hours a week.

This kid needs a real wake up call. If you can prevent him from going down a criminal path, then you will have done more for his future that any job you will be providing.

I’m with Chris. You have no choice but to terminate the employee, no matter how bad his situation. You must have a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to theft of any kind – money, food, time clock fraud and all the rest. If you deal with it in any other way you are inviting more of it.

I used to work for a company where people stole things all the time. Blank CDs, equipment, our software products to sell on Ebay, and everything else you could think of. Most of the line employees knew about it and nobody said a word to the managers. Other employees in your restaurant probably know, too. Because of situations like this it is essential to keep tight control of the things people can steal, particularly cash and food. And make it so that it is very hard to give your food away to employees’ friends, too.

As a manager I HATE that I have to think about these things. Why can’t employees just be trustworthy?

First know I can appreciate your care and concern for this employee and his circumstance. But the bottom line is you are a business owner first and for most. YOU set the standard and so sure if you want to set the standard that this is somehow okay because of his situation then that is fine, but really sometimes there is no way to go back in time and make this go away. HE CHOSE to steal from you, not once but time and time again. YOU are CHOOSING to tolerate it. It is not an oops I made a mistake. It is a decision he made. If you truly care about HIM you will explain there is NO choice for you, HE already made it and if he learns anything from you you would like him to learn not to bite the hand feeding him.

To help you move on, ask yourself if you employees know if they ever REALLY needed something would they come to you? Better yet ask a couple of them…Tell them.
I once had a guy steal a case of wings in his coat and when we walked out at closing it was obvious and I confronted him. He said he had no groceries at home and nothing to eat…he was starving. Cried and all. One of my favorite employees at the time. I told him to put them back and we would talk tomorrow. I really felt bad for him but then it dawned on me… My employees know I would do anything in my power to help them if they were desperate, he knew this and actually used it against me to make me feel bad when he got caught. I fired him the next day. I now use him during training new employees as an example. If you need something, ask first. You steal, see ya.
There are more employees in the world that have true needs and I think having a leader is one of those needs. Hang in there.

You know what I really hate? The fact that you all say I should fire him … but I know its the right thing to do so that is what I am going to do. Thanks for all the advice, I kinda knew the right answer but didnt want to do it. Its not a fun thing to have to terminate someone (on a few occasions I have enjoyed it) but I know its the right thing to do. Thanks again!