Our shift leader received a call from someone who she thought was from Corporate. She was told that money was missing from our store and a federal investigation was going on. She was asked to send a team member with all the cash in the store to a certain location to protect it from being stolen.

The team member left with the money, and did not return for over an hour. We did not have her number in our scheduling app, we couldn't find an emergency contact list and the GM wasn't answering his phone. The team member eventually reached out to us and told us that she was told to buy a bunch of prepaid cards, hand over the numbers vocally, then rip up the cards and spread them in a dumpster. By this time, the police were involved and we told them the situation.

Our GM now says that from his perspective, the shift leader took the money out of the safe and it was never seen again. He says that if she quits her job, he will keep her paycheck and file a police report against her. Her other option is to continue working at the store until all the money is paid back.

Should the shift leader be accountable for losing company money to a scam? Can the employer ask her to pay back the money?

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    I suggest you get legal counseling – DarkCygnus Feb 17 '18 at 0:32
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    It seems your shift leader did not follow some procedures. I guess there would be i.e. a rule that in case of any unusual event she should contact XYZ. Maybe that is a written rule, maybe it was told her. How did she verify that the caller is allowed to give her instructions? (i.e. look up a name, call a known number, etc.)? If she didn't verify this why did she follow the instructions of someone she does not know (legally speaking)? – Edgar Feb 17 '18 at 0:44
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because I think this is trolling. – paparazzo Feb 17 '18 at 0:53
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    I don't think this is trolling at all. This kind of scam happens in Taiwan everyday. To the OP, the team member bought the prepaid cards. The shift leader should ask her for receipts which can be the evidence to prove that it was a scam. – scaaahu Feb 17 '18 at 4:46
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    This kind of scam is very common is Taiwan. I am afraid the variation is spread to other countries. Los Angels Times : Fraud in Taiwan took off around 2001. In one scam, criminals posing as government workers would call random numbers and claim that the victim's national health insurance files had been stolen. They would ask the victim to place their bank savings in a "safe" account, purportedly run by the government, to help solve the case. – scaaahu Feb 17 '18 at 5:40

Let me get this straight

  • Corporate called late last night. Why was corporate working late at night and just discovered the theft.
  • A federal investigation (that came to culmination late at night)? Why did federal agents not come to the scene.
  • Shift manager did not verify the call was from corporate.
  • Assigned the transfer to a team member you did not have a phone number for.
  • Told to up rip up the cards and put them in a dumpster.
  • Shift manager has access to the safe. If someone was stealing the money she is a suspect so why would they call her.
  • The police are already involved. No purpose to GM filing a police report against her.

I think this is trolling. Not even good trolling.

Assume it is not trolling. Supervisor is an obsolete idiot to believe this and not check out the story. Does it rise to criminally negligent - I doubt it. I agree with a comment that an employer cannot withhold pay without a judicial order at least in the US. IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer)

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    The way I read it, corporate didn't call; a scammer pretending to be corporate called, lied about a federal investigation, and told an employee to buy, transfer, & destroy a bunch of prepaid credit cards — or are you just criticizing the shift leader for not putting 2 and 2 together fast enough? – jwodder Feb 17 '18 at 1:13
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    The former of what you said is correct, it was a scammer. I agree that our staff were very unintelligent. But they were not prepared to handle a situation like this on their own, being new and young. Our GM is telling the shift lead if she quite, he will keep her paycheck and file a police report. If she stays, he will take the money out of her paycheck until it is repaid. Is this legal? And if he files a police report, will they make the shift lead pay it back? Despite our GM not posting her contact I do, having no emergency contact sheet, and not answering for hours on end? – The Beans Feb 17 '18 at 1:24
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    It is almost certainly illegal to dock the employee's wages for losses due to theft. Contacting an attorneyight be wise. – Glen Pierce Feb 17 '18 at 2:18
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    Let me be more clear: It is illegal to confiscate money from employees' paychecks without a judicial order in the United States. A high school student falling for a scam is not guilty of a crime, they are a victim of one. – Glen Pierce Feb 17 '18 at 3:58
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    @Paparazzi, This is a common scam, even in the US. And yes, high school kids on the job are especially vulnerable to it. Take a look at this extreme example for instance. youtube.com/watch?v=UFXeXK3szOk The fact is. Many of our kids act like sheep. We need to teach them how to be assertive and question authority. And these types of places, fast food joints, or other establishments, love to recruit the type of kids that don't talk back and do what they're told. But if you don't train them, don't supervise them, and give them a key to the safe, what happens is on you, not the kids. – Stephan Branczyk Feb 18 '18 at 4:04

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