I recently allocated rewards points to each of my employees and let them pick out their own reward. I specifically told one employee she could use 1,000,000 points for her. I just did some checking and she used 1,502,720 points therefore leaving one person short of the points I promised to them.

I value these extra points at about $260.

I consider this theft and think I should terminate this employee. She says she was unaware she went over but that is not true before you redeem them it shows a point total you will spend.

Should I fire this employee?

  • 36
    My first thought would be that firing an employee over your own incapacity to set up a system preventing abuse is a bit harsh. That said I don't see any question in this post...
    – Laurent S.
    Sep 24, 2019 at 13:10
  • 2
    I have not idea how all this works. I think you need to add detail on how the system works. Like I assume the employee didn't just take $260 from the cash register.
    – user10399
    Sep 24, 2019 at 13:38
  • 2
    Are you saying that 502,720 points are worth $260? This would mean that 1933.54 points would be worth around $1. I don't understand what the "rewards points" are exactly, are they just magical points assigned a value, or they actually tied to real money?
    – Donald
    Sep 24, 2019 at 14:34
  • 5
    In any rewards system I have had access to, the system only presents me with the rewards I'm entitled to. So I'd expect anything I selected was appropriate. Before pointing fingers, I'd make sure this wasn't an honest mistake. Sep 24, 2019 at 14:47
  • 7
    Are you serious? You introduced a reward system and not only failed to set a limit for each employee but also by using a point-pool instead of individual accounts for the points each employee is awarded..
    – iLuvLogix
    Sep 24, 2019 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


Should I fire this employee?

No. You implemented a reward system that had no controls in place over how much each individual could spend. Even if the point total that will be spent is displayed, not everyone reads everything carefully, you have no way of proving that this employee intentionally went over their limit.

You can certainly ask for the difference from this employee to be payed back, as they are not entitled to it. If they refuse, you can then consider termination.

Next time, you need a better system in place for distributing rewards to your employees that does not allow for mistakes or abuse.

  • 9
    And in asking for the balance back I would mention that a co-worker has been left short
    – Peter M
    Sep 24, 2019 at 13:59
  • 1
    OP can ask, but I don't imagine the employee will be happy about it. Points that you can only spend on a limited range of things is not the same as cash. If they're struggling to pay their rent, they may well prefer to return the whole 'reward' than to be short of cash at the end of the month. I think all you can do is give them fewer points next time. Sep 25, 2019 at 8:39

An emphatic No. The employee was rewarded with 1,000,000 points because she performed well. So by terminating her, not only are you going to lose a good employee (for your mistake), but also going to lose money for hiring a new one and giving job training. Assuming the point system is not a one-off event, you may adjust the points in the next event. If it is a one-time event, you may request the excess money or seek permission to deduct the money from her salary in installment.

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