To be accused of theft by your employer is an awful thing, but the situation is not unsurmountable. The first thing you should realize is that theft in the workplace is unfortunately a fairly common occurrence. Therefore, accusations can actually just be knee-jerk reactions to the circumstances at hand rather than an actual assumption of guilt. Before you make any statements, sign any affidavits, or even turn in your resignation, retain the services of a legal professional. Know what your options are, both from a legal and employment point of view.
The Future of Your Employment After Being Accused of Theft
When you are accused of stealing from your employer, things can go a couple of different ways. You could be summoned by your employer and asked about whether or not you are involved with theft. Employers also have the option of immediately terminating any worker they believe is stealing, without any form of prior warning. The majority of states in the U.S. have at-will employment status, which means that employers can terminate employees for the mere suspicion of theft. It can be gut-wrenching to learn that you have been fired or that your employer has immediate plans to terminate you without much recourse. On the other hand, employers that choose to immediately seek termination often do not seek to press criminal charges.
Accusations of Theft at Work and Legal Ramifications
Another possible outcome for people accused of workplace theft is a criminal investigation. Again, an accusation or belief by an employer of theft doesn’t always result in a criminal trial or a finding of guilt. The attorneys at Josh Johnson Law can explain your rights in a workplace theft criminal case, and help to prove your innocence. In cases of workplace theft, retaining a lawyer as early as possible will assist in preventing you from making any missteps. Statements to your former employers or the police should only be made if and when you are under the advice of an attorney.
There is Always Evidence to Support the Facts
Although a simple accusation of stealing at work can lead to your immediate termination in many cases, generally employers are open to considering all of the evidence. Surveillance footage, statements from co-workers, or even employee login histories can help you to establish your story, whether in a courtroom or your manager’s office. If you have proof that someone else is responsible for the theft, speak up and present all supporting facts. Your attorney will likely ask you detailed questions about your job in order to help trigger your memory and help to connect the dots.
If you have been accused of theft in the workplace, you should communicate clearly with your employer to understand where their suspicions are coming from. In some instances, it can be a misunderstanding, a case of lost paperwork, or a situation in which you are being framed by a disgruntled co-worker. Hire an attorney to help preserve your legal rights and make smart moves that help to make your case.