It is not uncommon for Arizona employees to get fired for not performing their work duties. Unfortunately, sometimes, even those who do their job get fired as well. This is called wrongful discharge, and it is typically based on disability, pregnancy or even one’s gender. One Arizona man was recently fired from Walmart after attempting to stop shoplifters — his main duty.
The action has caused an employment dispute as the man is now without a job or medical insurance. He suffered injuries during the shoplifting and requires dialysis for his kidney problems.
The man’s co-workers are outraged over the situation and believe that the man reacted appropriately under the circumstances. Walmart, however, stands by its actions and claims that the man did not employ proper theft prevention strategies and this led to his firing.
On March 18, the man — an asset protection manager for Walmart’s Sahuarita store — noticed two teens shoplifting and preparing to exit through the garden center with their stolen merchandise. When the man asked one teen to give him the liquor, he had hidden in a sweatshirt; the teen refused and kicked the man in the groin. When the teen escapes, the man tackles him. When the man stands the teen up, he gets kicked again and the teen escapes.
Meanwhile, the second suspect sets off the store’s alarm, and an off-duty officer stepped in to help. The man noticed there was blood everywhere and found out that the suspect punctured a vein in his arm. The man — a 7 year employee — was fired a week later.
Walmart’s excuse? The man should not have touched the suspects because customer safety is a priority.
The man was an asset to the company, having stopped numerous shoplifting attempts. He believes he was wrongfully terminated. Nonetheless, because employment is at-will, the store does not need a reason to fire him, as long as he is not fired for illegal reasons.
Source: KVOA, “Crime Trackers: Wal-Mart employee fired after stopping shoplifters” Lupita Murillo, April 8, 2015
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