You would think that a company would appreciate it if their employees tried to stop suspected shoplifters from stealing merchandise–even if it wasn’t that particular company’s store being robbed. It seems logical to assume that if you stop a thief from stealing at one store, you prevent future theft at your own store. Apparently this isn’t the case with Sprint. In fact, the cell phone company recently fired two employees for chasing down a shoplifting suspect in a shopping mall.
The two former Sprint employees, Paul Shoemaker and Mike McGee, were actually exiting the Sprint store where they worked at Denver’s Cherry Creek Mall to go on break when a breathless security guard ran up to them pleading for help. The pair pitched in to help catch the runaway thief who had made his way into an Apple store in the mall and stolen some goods. Thanks to their help, they caught the suspect and he was carried off.
Nevertheless, Sprint claims that the reason they fired the two men was because of corporate policy that prohibits employees from chasing down shoplifters. However, both men argue that they were on break and that it wasn’t a thief that had stolen Sprint merchandise, so the corporate policy doesn’t apply. The reason that many corporations cite for having a shoplifting policy is that it protects employees from dangerous situations, although it’s difficult to think negatively of these two men who were simply trying to help out.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.