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  1. #11
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendoiwan View Post
    The problem is two fold. A: if you accuse someone of shoplifting without being able to prove it you (the company) expose yourself to litigation.
    B: if the employee is hurt in the attempt to apprehend the alleged shop lifter the policy lets the employer off the hook in terms of liability.
    Toss in a possible false imprisonment lawsuit.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Here's the article - thoughts?

    Sprint Fires Employees for Pursuing Alleged Shoplifter

    No good deed left unpunished? People should stay out of it because who cares if huge corporations lose some pocket change?

    I've seen shoplifters handled really roughly (NYC) and I've also seen them bite store employees yelling "I have AIDS!" (DC). Sooooo :shrugs:

    I think the issue here is employees aren't being encouraged or discouraged for ethical principle but rather because we live in a highly litigious society in the US. Everyone's afraid of getting sued so nobody wants the risk. I think that's the industrial-complex etc. etc. etc. dictating to people a life of acquiescence and acceptance to big business and big government policy.

    It's not about people living in a community with relationships with one another, it's about consumers and employees answering to the same corporate/government entities.

    It fits into a larger issue of people feeling alienated and detached from one another and relating to each other through a logo.
    I saw this earlier today. That's here in town. I go there frequently, just lack weekend in fact. Walked right by that apple store tons of times...

    Schmucks making Denver look bad! :steam: :steam: :steam: I'm gonna have to find them and "break their knees" or something
    Just kidding

  3. #13
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Yep legally they're not allowed to do that, it's a HUGE no no, once a shoplifter is off of yeur property, yeu have NO legal recourse that involves chasing/physically stopping them.

    In fact, yeu can't detain someone on property either unless yeu have a very specific set of things followed to the letter:

    - They must be seen picking up the item
    - They must be seen concealing it intentionally
    - They must be followed throughout the store without EVER breaking line of sight ever, in case they set it down during a few seconds when they weren't seen
    - They must not mention it during checkout
    - They must attempt to leave the store with the item still in concealed possession
    - If confronted they must refuse to return the item; if someone goes "oops I forgot about that" and pays for it or hands it over, yeu can't detain them any longer

    If these criteria are not met (and aren't realistically possible due to having to never break line of sight), then yeu are not legally allowed to detain them.

    Furthermore, if one of those alarms which yeu walks through beeps to say yeu might have an unpaid item, they can't stop yeu from walking out the door or force yeu to show them yeur merchandise either. They have zero legal right to make yeu do that. The only thing they have is peer pressure to suggest yeu do such; if they suggest that yeu have stolen items because yeu decline to open the bag, that is considered to be slander and they can be charged for it.



    So yes, I'm not surprised that the employees got fired. Because they did something illegal, in the name of their workplace, and their workplace didn't want to get sued to hell and back for it.

    If yeu pass the door of the building, they can't legally persue yeu any longer; even if the employees *HAD* caught the shoplifter *AND* it turned out they *HAD* been shoplifting and had the stolen goods on them... because such evidence was obtained illegally, that evidence would not be admissible in court, the double jeopardy laws would prevent them from being charged a second time for the same crime, and because they failed to be charged for such, they could then therefore sue sprint for physical harassment, abuse, illegal detention, slander, and quite a few other things, and would probably WIN.

    So yes, Sprint fired them because it would probably cost them millions of dollars to be associated with the 'heroes' who were breaking the law about a half dozen times over.

    Consider if they had no proof that the individual WASN'T shoplifting, and that they actually just pounced someone into the ground and held them there and there was no evidence and they actually HADN'T been stealing?

    This rule is in effect for all major store locations; walmart, zellers, macey's, future shop, pretty much every single major outlet has the same rule. They don't want to get sued for millions of dollars because there are individuals out there who will 'act' shady and pretend they've stolen something just so they can try to nudge a security guard who isn't trained very well into chasing them down. If yeu steal $5 worth of stuff yeu get $5. If yeu steal $0 but trick someone into chasing yeu down the street and attacking yeu illegally, yeu can make several hundred thousand in lawsuit charges.

    This's not a "zomg Sprint sucks!" thing at all. It's the way the laws are set up to protect people who DIDN'T shoplift from being attacked for something they didn't do. Which, inadvertently, means that the actual shoplifters are near impossible to catch.

    Furthermore, if the employee went against company policy, and potentially got injured/killed in their attempt, then the company will ditch them so they don't have to worry about paying worker's compensation and such. They broke company policy, there are therefore immediately banned from any possible benefits to be received from the company.

    If the company had a rule "don't stick yeur tongue on this metal pole in winter" and someone did it anyway, do yeu think they're going to pay for the damages suffered? Or do yeu think they're going to say "yeu're an idiot and went against our officially telling yeu not to do that, yeu're fired, and no yeu're not getting any money for being a retard"?

    So yeah... if they were truly "money grubbers", they would pinch every penny, including WANTING people to risk getting hurt or sued so they can catch the shoplifter with a petty amount of inventory on them.

    Anyways, this is something everyone needs to know about. DO NOT CHASE SHOPLIFTERS EVER. Chances are yeu'll pay dearly for it. And no, yeur company is not going to back yeu up. They're going to ditch yeu on the spot to avoid having anything to do with the situation.

  4. #14
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    America has 50 percent of the world total for attorneys. I think it's high time we deported almost all of them.

  5. #15
    Priestess Of Syrinx Katsuni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    Nobody in this scenario really takes responsibility. We, as a society, seem to try to abstract away the responsibility for dealing with others to easily and painlessly-blamed inhuman organizations or policies and yet we as individuals wind up trying to scratch and fight for scraps of dignity. "I'm sorry, that's policy" is a pretty easy and effective way to say "screw you, not my problem, not my fault (and haha if you think you can even talk to anyone who may have had something to do with writing the policy)".

    Small, traditional communities without the services we've come to expect from our impersonal organizations have their own problems, of course. But I don't think that they suffer from the same humanity-stripping effects we see with using legal constructs as the glue of society.
    I agree with this as a whole... mostly.

    The problem is the part I quoted; "policy" is there for a reason. In most cases, it's there to prevent people from being treated differently.

    For example, I was working for a call center that covered phone/net/cable tv billing and repair. If someone called in that their tv didn't work... well let's say it was that they hadn't paid the bill in 3 months... well YEAH it doesn't work. And I'm not going to turn it back on for yeu either. Because yeu didn't pay for it.

    They can rant and scream and whotever, and occasionally yeu'll get someone who'll pull the race card or some other thing where they go "THIS IS BECAUSE I'M BLACK ISN'T IT!?"

    That's why yeu have policies in place.

    Because everyone gets treated identically and the same. Everyone gets the exact same identical treatment so yeu can say "No, no it's not because yeu're black. The last 500 people to call in here with the same problem got the same answer, regardless of their gender. Their skin colour. The way they vote. Or anything else. Everyone is covered by the same global policy."

    Any time yeu make ANY exception... help someone who has a sob story, or concede to someone who plays a race card, or do something nice for the ONE person out there who actually was nice about it and was like "oh crap oops my bad I'll pay tomorrow since that's payday" and didn't even ask for it to be turned back on and they actually took responsibility for it... if yeu give ANY of these people a break, it means policy wasn't followed, and yeu no longer have a global "we treat everyone the same" umbrella to shield yeu from lawsuits and such.

    Sometimes yeu do in fact have to just say "I'm just doing my job, and the rules are there for a reason, and no I can't break them; or if I *DID* break them, an hour later, they'd be turned around again, I'd be fired, yeu'd have gotten nothing out of it, and noone would be ahead but I'd have caught flak for it."

    It sucks, but the rules are sometimes there for good reason, even if the average employee is never told why.

    Which means most people just go blindly by the rules, without explanation which pisses people off, because noone knows why it's being done.




    In the end, saving one person $50, and possibly loosing one customer, isn't worth the risk of loosing several million to a lawsuit.

    It's simple numbers, and policies are designed to save companies from getting into situations where they can loose big and can't possibly stop it once it's started.

    The fact that noone takes responsibility though, still sucks. But at least yeu see why policies exist now.

  6. #16
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What's tacky and petty about crime fighting?
    You may have this image in your mind of bravery, but when I saw some teenagers working at a clothing store do this, it was clear that they took great pleasure in the sport of chasing someone down in front of everyone. They were punks abusing their "authority" to demonstrate their manhood.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    You may have this image in your mind of bravery, but when I saw some teenagers working at a clothing store do this, it was clear that they took great pleasure in the sport of chasing someone down in front of everyone. They were punks abusing their "authority" to demonstrate their manhood.
    You know how to avoid this? Dont break the law. Its not hard. I manage it without even conscious striving, effort or thought. So I'm buying no excuses or diversions.

  8. #18
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    You know, I kinda get the technical points of ' don't "over protect" your store' (quotes within quotes intentional) and as these were large chains that could take the financial hit, okay (though, retail stores pass on the losses due to 'shrink' to consumers by way of higher retail prices)

    I do remember a story of a small mom and pop retail store (a coworker told me this story). A customer tried to walk out wearing 2 or 3 extra layers of clothes Basically she was stealing clothes by wearing them under what she walked in wearing.

    The store employee blocked her and and they got into a physical altercation.

    I only add this story to fold in with the whole 'distancing/alienation/cold sterile environment' things I mentioned earlier. I think in most corporate larger stores, frankly, people don't care if stuff is stolen nor can they be bothered to do anything about it.

    Kinda like how we've gotten more alienated from our food and so we don't really care where it comes from, how it's grown, or how the animals are treated before they get to our plate.

    I think for people in smaller mom and pop stores, where it's really your immediate and only source of income and what's keeping you from homelessness - people are a lot more invested, more 'hands on', feel more ownership (figuratively and literally) and more involved. And you see this in how people handle shoplifters.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  9. #19
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    America has 50 percent of the world total for attorneys. I think it's high time we deported almost all of them.
    America does have too many lawyers, but that has nothing to do with this issue. As has been stated before there are good policy reasons for a store to have these kinds of rules. I'd rather have companies regulate their own conduct through fear of lawsuits than to have the government set regulations for them... in the end I think the former is cheaper and ensures greater liberty.

    Laws against false imprisonment are really important. I can't think of a more fundamental right than the right to freely move about. Those that falsely imprison people and detain them should have to compensate the victim. I don't think your typical false imprisonment of a supposed shoplifter is going to be one in which the victim receives a huge amount of money, but it depends on the circumstances. Someone who's detained for a few minutes in front of a store is unlikely to get more than a few thousand I would imagine, but if you're locked in the back office and interrogated for an hour you're more likely to get a higher sum for punitive damages.

    In the end I think we're better off as a society by not encouraging civilian vigilantes when it comes to non-violent petty crimes.

  10. #20
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    This is one rule that always made sense to me when I've worked in retail. Going after shoplifters could easily result in the employee getting hurt. Sure, that sucks for the company if they get sued or have to pay worker's comp (and I'm sure their bottom line is money), but from my perspective, protecting the employees is most important.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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