I am in a retail/Sales position. The manager I caught stealing my money is not in the sales department.

I sold a product which gets a $100 bonus from the company directly (and not through my paycheck). He/she has the ability to put anyone's name on this check. He/she placed their name on my check

He/She is in the "Back-End" office where we close all of our accounts. When I confronted my manager, he/she said something like "well Mark, you haven't completed all your assessment exams" , Which I so happily showed that I did 1 minute later to him. He then seemed to know absolutely nothing after proving that he was wrong.

I went to the next level above him and he/she is a laid-back, type who loves to avoid conflict.

Now, being the newest employee, I feel like I am like the easiest victim. But, I feel that this "manager" has been embezzling everyone's money all the same.

I am frustrated about this beyond belief. I do not know which way to turn: HR? Quit? Legal Actions?

I am fresh out of college and having this as my first legit job is making it all the more of a big deal.

  • 26
    You'll need to explain how he is "stealing money from you". Did they not pay you enough? Did he literally take money out of your wallet? Did he refuse to pay some kind of bonus?
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 14:55
  • 3
    @Mark1122 If your manager is looking into it, is there something else that you need advice on? It seems the next step is to wait. Does anyone else know that you sold that product (thus knows that you are entitled to the bonus)?
    – Brandin
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:22
  • 1
    Everyone knows I sold the product. I just need advice if this next level manager doesn't resolve this issue. Like I said earlier, it's not his first time doing this embezzling of my or many salesman's bonuses.
    – Mark1122
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:25
  • 10
    The obvious question is, can you prove they took your bonus cheque? How? What evidence do you have? Is the cheque identifiable as yours if examined? "Everyone knows" would not stand up if it had to go further.
    – Jane S
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 22:19
  • 8
    If you engage this manager or someone near him, be careful about pointing fingers, even if you know who is at fault. For example, instead of saying "Manager X stole my bonus by writing his own name", you could put it more disapassionately, "I failed to receive the bonus which I'm entitled to. I'd like to have this sorted out."
    – Brandin
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 11:56

4 Answers 4


When addressing an issue like this the best tactic is to avoid making accusations that you are not prepared to take to the bitter end.

Right now you do not know that this person is stealing, you suspect that. So rather than making an accusation with no evidence to back it up and forcing a confrontation which you are not properly prepared for, you should investigate. Do not seek to understand why the bonus went to that manager, seek to understand why it did not go to you. The result should be you understand both in the end anyway, but if you go looking to understand why the other manager got the bonus you are more likely to set the other managers on the defensive.

My first stop would have been ask your manager why the bonus went to this manager instead of you. If the answer does not make sense to you ask them to clarify. Ask if the policies are written down somewhere. If they are ask them to take you through it. If at any time the manager asks if you are trying to make trouble or cause problems you must insist and should always approach this as just trying to understand the policies and how the bonuses work.

If the manager does not have the answer(s) and does not seem interested in helping you find that answer then ask them who you should talk to about it to understand. If they do not point you to someone try to climb up the chain yourself. If this person is embezzling then your employer could end up being held liable, so someone is probably going to take an interest at some point, that or they will be able to explain how it works to you.

If you get to the point where you understand the policies or come to the end and still do not have good answers and no one is looking into it then you have a choice to make. You can either suck it up and allow this to continue, or you can try to take action. If you take action outside of your employer it will have repercussions for you at work. It could cause you to be fired, or just treated as an outcast.

Your options for taking actions are to go to the police or district attorney. There is a good chance unless you can feed them a winning case they are just going to tell you this is a civil case and not do anything or just do a cursory investigation before dropping it. You can take it to small claims court yourself or you can get an attorney to help. Chances are 100 is not worth it but if this continues and that number is 10000 in a year it might be worth it. And at that point your attorney could do the investigation and it may lead to criminal charges. But right now there really is little to no reason for you to go forward with taking this outside your company unless you can get several other people to say they have done this to them and you can go together as a group.

  • Thank you for your wisdom. But since I have now received my money in cash (by the manager that took it) my suspicion was dead on. AT THIS POINT IN TIME, I NEED ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO IF THIS HAPPENS AGAIN. I approached both managers as I was inquiring about how the money was missing. I acted completely clueless when I approached both of them.
    – Mark1122
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 18:35
  • 1
    This is what you do if this happens again. You still do not "Know" that he is stealing. Do the due diligence and let someone else deal with the fall out. Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 20:11

Instead of accusing your manager, who has a vested interest against you, you try to get support from some people whose sole interest it is to get everyone their pay correctly and in time: Your company's payroll.

Find out at which point this money should be in your bank account, probably together with your next salary. When it's not there, you contact your payroll. You tell them there's a discrepancy between your pay and what you should have been paid, and then they will investigate. And they are in the hierarchy separate from your boss: If you should have received the money, but your boss did, they are not interested in the hierarchy, they are interested in payments being done correctly. And they know that if you are right then your boss defrauded the company. Not you, they wouldn't care, but the company.

  • Yes, payroll, or if not available, HR, or if not available, upper management. And do all of this over email so you leave a paper trail for yourself. Usually, when it comes to wage theft, you have two years to file a complaint with the Department of Labor of your State. But stick to the facts and stick to what you know for sure, and that's the fact that you didn't receive your check that you qualified for. Do not ever make the accusation that the manager put the check in his own bank account (without serious proof). Embezzlement is a super serious accusation. Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 15:40

There are probably two possibilities

  1. You describe the situation correctly: Some manager is skimming off the employees and it's covered by corporate. In this case you need to find a new job. Why would you ever want to work for a company like this? It's highly unlikely that you would be able to change the culture and picking a fight is largely pointless. You will lose either way.
  2. You misunderstand the situation: in this case you'd be making a fool out of yourself so the best you can do is to shut up.

So your choice here depends on how confident you are that that you got all the facts straight. If you are really sure that they are stealing, you should leave.

  • So today the said manager gave me all my money back in cash $120. So I was "dead on the money"!
    – Mark1122
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 17:50
  • Well, its possible that it is usual practice for other employees in a similar situation to want the money in cash, and this manager has got used to helping them by depositing the cheque into his own account. It is safer not to make assumptions about what is going on. Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 9:52

You are a new employee, it can be very risky to go around pointing finger. It seems the company has a policy of rewarding their employees for selling particular items.

If it is the case and you qualified for this bonus, I would advice to take the low road and talk candidly to your manager.

  • Ask what can be done for you to get this bonus monney for the next sales.
  • Ask him to explain the criteria he based himself upon to refuse the bonus to you (so you can qualify next time).

If you focus the conversation to the next sale instead of the previous (litigious) sale, the discussion will be more open and you may get your way without making an ennemy in the process.

Best case scenario, the situation is clarified and you get your monney back. Worst case scenario, you don't sell this item in the future and try to stay away from this manager's path.

In general, as a new member of the community, it's better to ask questions than make affirmations.

  • Thank you all for your opinions, thoughts, and wisdom. Some of you have made it sound like this said manager is a great guy and I am just misinformed. Trust me, I have all the evidence I need to take this guy to the hen house and back again. There is no, "he is a nice guy saving me a trip to the bank by giving me cash" nope this guy is a pay grade below the GM and somehow he is making money as the pay grade as the GM. The serious question (which I think some answers failed to reason), is this is my 1st legit job out of college graduation. I am looking elsewhere. I'm just currently stuck here.
    – Mark1122
    Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 13:46
  • I'm not saying he is a nice guy. I just saying confronting anybody as a new employee is risky. If he is a crook, put as much information on writing and be patient. Any problem with him should result in conversation in which you ask him how to deal with him/the situation (with a recap by mail, like "As discussed earlier, you informed me the bonus to sell item X is not for sales being Y. If I understood properly, if I do Z, I will be able to get the bonus. Can you confirm this? Thanks"). Commented Dec 1, 2016 at 14:55

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