Employee Theft At Walmart: What that means for your future career
Employee Theft At Walmart: What That Means For Your Future Career: You are an employee at Walmart, and they have fired you for theft. What does that mean for your future career? Whether you have committed the theft or not, it can have a severe impact on your future employment.
Read on to discover what constitutes workplace theft, its consequences, and how to overcome this accusation.
What is theft?
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that 75% of American employees have stolen from their place of work. This is a shocking number. Many employees may not realize they are committing workplace theft until they are told what it is. Generally, the most common forms of workplace theft are:
- Theft of office supplies or physical property
- Theft of merchandise from a sales floor, warehouse, or shipping truck
- Granting unauthorized discounts to friends and family
- Time theft, including claiming payment for hours you did not work, failing to deduct unpaid breaks, or otherwise falsifying timesheets
- Other theft of cash or making false sales
Theft of small items or the occasional fudging of timesheets may seem like a minor issue at the time of the offense. Still, a pattern of such behavior can amount to severe consequences.
If Walmart chooses to press charges against a former employee for theft, they must have proof.
Walmart hires workers “at will,” meaning they can technically fire an employee without cause at any time, as long as the reason is not discriminatory.
Walmart takes fraud and theft very seriously. If an employee commits or participates in any acts of workplace theft, they will likely be terminated immediately. Such a practice is not unique to Walmart, as most employers have a zero-tolerance policy for employee theft.
Consequences Of Employee Theft At Walmart
If Walmart fires you for workplace theft, it is essential to understand the potential penalties you could face.
The most immediate penalty is termination. This can be a frustrating situation to be in. Remain calm, cooperate with your employer, and if you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, hire an attorney who can help fight the charges.
Petty theft of items totaling less than $1,000 constitutes a misdemeanor. It is up to the employer to decide if they will pursue charges against an employee who steals. The statute of limitations allows an employer to charge an employee up to a full year after ending the employment contract.
It Varies By State
Depending on your state, theft totaling more than $1,000 to $2,5000 may constitute a felony charge.
Employees who are terminated for theft may have a difficult time finding future employment, cannot collect unemployment benefits, and may face legal action. Legal action can include prison time, fines, restitution, or probation.
Future Employment After Theft Charges
If you are fired for workplace theft, whether or not you actually committed the theft, it is important to stay calm, cooperate with any investigation, and hire a criminal defense attorney if needed.
Walmart generally will not rehire employees who are terminated due to theft accusations or charges. Gaining employment at future jobs may be tricky, but possible. You are not required to disclose why you left a job during an interview or on your resume. But, being open and honest in a diplomatic way during an interview can prevent surprises during the hiring process.
The Reality Of Background Checks
A future employer can legally use background and employment history checks to make hiring decisions. If they choose to do so, they must conduct checks on all considered applicants. You are also entitled to any copies of reports used in the hiring process. Suppose a potential employer conducts criminal or employment history checks. In that case, the applicant is entitled to a copy of the report.
Termination from a previous job can be a consideration in the hiring process. A potential employer can contact your previous employer to ask about the terms of your separation. Usually, companies will not share information that could legally harm the company but are allowed to disclose the nature of separation.
It’s Up To The Employer
Ultimately, the decision to use previous employment or criminal background information to guide hiring decisions is up to the employer. There are legal requirements for these considerations as long as they are not driven by race, sex, religion, or other discriminatory methods.
Employee Theft at Walmart: What that means for your future employment
If you are terminated from a job at Walmart in Louisiana for theft, you could face a variety of effects on your future employment. You could face criminal charges depending on the type of theft and the amount stolen. If you don’t face charges, a previous termination could make gaining future employment difficult.
Local and federal laws determine whether you will face criminal charges and what those charges may be. Cases involving the theft of small amounts of low-value property will yield lower charges and penalties than the theft of high-value items. Working with a criminal defense attorney such as the Barkemeyer Law Firm can help ensure you do not face wrongful charges, reduce charges, and help repair your reputation as you move forward seeking new employment.