I was dismissed from my job for gross misconduct, specifically picking up vouchers (money-off coupons) that had been discarded by a customer and using them. I'd been with the company for 10 years and only made this one mistake. Is it possible to apply for a job from the same company? And what is the likelihood of being rehired?

I'm also a teaching assistant. I work for an agency so I do have something to fall back on. It's just that I need a part-time job as I have to rely on the agency to find me work.

  • 44
    You can apply. In the first sentence of the application, say this: "Please note that I was fired from store location XYZ on date XYZ due to misuse of vouchers. As a committed employee with an otherwise outstanding record with ABC and perfect understanding of ABC systems and procedures, I'd like to be considered for this role at store location PQR". If they say "no", so what?
    – Fattie
    Jun 23, 2017 at 15:08
  • 3
    Just some clarification..i found some vouchers on the floor and used them..doesnt excuse me for what i did which was wrong..just to let u guys know
    – user68697
    Jun 23, 2017 at 15:58
  • 15
    What country are you in? As an American, I'm not clear what you mean by "vouchers." I found this article on them in Greece, but I'm not sure if this is what you mean.
    – jpmc26
    Jun 24, 2017 at 0:06
  • 5
    The vouchers are those that customers left behind..they are supposed to b destroyed but i used them..and under the company's policy it is a form of gross misconduct
    – user68697
    Jun 24, 2017 at 19:36
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    Would you really want to work for a company that fires a 10-year employee for using a voucher that a) the company is giving away for free to their customers b) that costs a negligible amount to the company when it's being used? I sure wouldn't want to. Jun 25, 2017 at 15:55

7 Answers 7


The likelihood that they would re-hire you after firing you for "gross misconduct?"

Sorry to be blunt, but the odds are zero. If it was a matter of it being one mistake, and getting a second chance, that second chance would have come in the form of not firing you, and opting for some form of internal discipline, demotion, etc. Since they did dismiss you, there would be no conditions under which they would bring you back. That would entirely defeat the purpose of letting you go.

  • But what if it was to be at a different store?
    – user68697
    Jun 23, 2017 at 14:48
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    @A.mystery - The different store is obviously going to ask the original store how you did. If all the stores report to a parent company, you can be pretty sure that you have been "red-flagged" at the parent company, and they will move to make sure you don't get hired. I have to ask, didn't you post some version of this question, previously? The voucher issue, applying to a different store - this seems very familiar to me. Jun 23, 2017 at 14:51
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    @A.mystery Less than zero. They'll probably laugh about it in HR that you would have the gall to think that you had any possibility of rehire. But why would you want to work at a company anyway where a) they will never trust you and b) everyone will treat you like a pariah because they know what you've done (either been told directly or via the rumor mill). You f***ed up. Move on and have some dignity.
    – Chris E
    Jun 23, 2017 at 15:00
  • 4
    Especially since mismanaging of vouchers = financial misdeeds. Unforgivable at any kind of company, but especially so if dealing with a company that runs retail stores and has a huge volume of financial transactions as their lifeblood and business model. That elevates the amount of both opportunity available (for misdeeds) and scrutiny needed for risk in that area. Jun 23, 2017 at 15:03
  • @A.mystery - okay, then it wasn't entirely my imagination. Thanks. Jun 23, 2017 at 15:05

Gross misconduct is not something that is forgotten, ever.

Since this involves the misuse of vouchers, unless you have photographs of all the corporate legal team in extremely compromising positions, you will never be rehired.

The reason is liability, which is ultimately the same reason you were terminated. If a company rehires an employee who has misused funds, their insurance carrier will pitch a fit. Hiring a known legal risk is not something any company will ever do. It exposes them to lawsuits if that person acts against a third party, and exposes them to the risk of non-payment of claim from their insurance company if that rehire does something to cost them money.

In addition, someone known to be untrustworthy is untrustworthy. This is not an accident like tripping over a wire, falling into a display and causing several thousand dollars worth of damage, this is a deliberate act we are talking about.

Some things are just not forgiven.

  • 3
    Blunt but fair. I agree Jun 23, 2017 at 15:19
  • 17
    What the OP did was theft. No one will knowingly hire a thief.
    – Neo
    Jun 23, 2017 at 15:21
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    @A.mystery as you've found, china, glass, and reputation are easily cracked and never well mended. If I were an employer, I wouldn't be impressed by you being honest about being fired because I'd find that out in a background check, and assume that you'd be telling me so that I wouldn't be surprised. What WOULD impress me if you could tell me what you did, what was wrong with it, and how I could be sure that I wouldn't have to worry about such behavior at my company. Jun 23, 2017 at 17:38
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    @A.mystery - that may be because a lot of companies require an employee to be "bondable" because their insurance company requires that. The moment you are not "bondable" you are not employable in many companies. That also applies to being hired - they cannot knowingly hire someone who is not "bondable" and if you lie about it and they find out (i.e. your prior company reported your actions to the police) you'll get fired again. You have to be very careful now.
    – user45269
    Jun 23, 2017 at 18:17
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    @MisterPositive so picking up something that someone knowingly discarded (and that would've gone to the trash otherwise) is now theft? Jun 25, 2017 at 15:57

Just to add some additional information:

Consider the situation from your employers point of view, where they terminated you for a "gross misconduct", which typically means they really were not happy with what you did and would prefer you to never speak to them again. There's a huge chance they just want to forget you ever existed and leave it at that. If you go reapplying to a different store, not only have you dug up what could become "old wounds", but you've also shown them that you haven't really learned anything, especially if it's even remotely close to when you were terminated.

It may seem counterintuitive, but employers (especially in related fields) do communicate with each other within regions and areas. My employer is very well aware of people that are terminated by our competition. Most companies (especially in smaller towns to mid-sized cities) talk with each other. If you work for retailer A, and they fire you, chances are retailer B already knows about it, through the grapevine of information travel within the city.

Your best bet is to not only not apply on a job with the company you were fired from, but (as I saw a related question where you ask about a CV so you're obviously looking for a new job) also apply in either a completely unrelated field (if you are in retail now you should go work for a software engineering company or something), or in an entirely different region (if you are in the United States, I'd consider at least two states away). Things like "theft" and "financial abuse" and such are very much looked down upon, and chances are that all the local retailers (if that's the field you were in) know who you are and what you did.

If you go pursuing a career with the previous employer, or with another retailer in your region, you're asking for trouble. Find a new place you fit well. I hate to be blunt, but you messed up and you're not going to fix it by pushing back against them.

A side note: I've worked for two huge retailers here in the United States (think several dozen $bn in revenue annually), and both of them had a strict "no theft" policy. If a person were terminated from any store, distribution center or even office of either company (for theft, financial violations, privacy violations, etc.) you were permanently blacklisted from the company, everywhere, within hours. One of the portions of IT companies don't skimp on is finding proper employees. My advice to you is to let it go, and forget you ever worked there.

  • 2
    reasonable-sounding, but where does "two" states away come from? why not one or eleven?
    – user42272
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:14
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    @djechlin It could be 11, it says "at least two". I think the rationale is the "broken telephone effect". 2 states away is not adjacent to your origin state so, if his story spreads mouth-to-mouth, by the time it crosses two states, it would be refering to a Mr "A.riddle" or "A.enigma", who had set up a whole operation with a laboratory to counter-feit coupons, was 2 meters tall, wore a fedora and was shot down by cops in front of his 3 wives... so it definitely can't be this Mr A.mistery...
    – xDaizu
    Jun 26, 2017 at 9:16
  • @xDaizu norcal to socal is not okay, New York to New Hampshire is? Is this a physical distance thing or a regulatory thing? Just a very unclear part of the answer to me.
    – user42272
    Jun 26, 2017 at 23:13
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    @djechlin The idea is, as xDaizu said, get far enough away that people won't recognize you. The fewer people recognize you, the less chance you have of being fired or rejected from a new job for the previous issue. Jun 26, 2017 at 23:33

Is it possible to apply for a job from the same company?

It's certainly possible for you to apply. I mean, technically, you can apply to any position.

And what is the likelihood of being rehired?

As others have said, you very likely won't get re-hired. Your scenario may be different, but the best thing I'd recommend for you would be to contact someone at this company, discuss what happened (if they don't already know) and ask them what they believe your odds are, as they'd know more about that workplace's individual policies.

As for who to contact and ask these questions - HR would probably be able to tell you if there was absolutely no chance of you being hired back, as I'm sure they'd know of any internal policies that explicitly rule out employees that have been fired before. You could also ask the person interviewing for the position, or maybe your old manager.

But the chances are that your application will simply be dismissed, in favor for someone else who doesn't already have a bad record with the company.


As others have said, you have no hope of getting a job back with the same employer. However, to answer this part of your question:

Would this dismissal affect my dbs check (crb)?

A DBS check only looks at information the government holds about you - your criminal record, and in some cases extra information the police hold and the "barred lists": https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview

So if your former employer just fired you, and didn't make any police report about it, it shouldn't affect any DBS check.


I'm ignoring the section of your question about the Criminal Records Bureau ( CRB ) checks, also now called Disclosure and Barring Service ( DBS ), as I have no idea. Where I live, a person isn't likely to have an issue with criminal checks if the person wasn't convicted in a court of law. You didn't mention whether your issue was bad enough to have been published in the newspapers.

Regarding the rest of your questions:

  • One possible factor may be who fired you. I was once a store manager, and worked well. I decided to step down from the position. The new store manager came from another location, and never liked me. Didn't even act friendly, to return my greetings in the morning. When I left the company, he blacklisted me. ("Eligible for rehire = no.") This store was overseen by a district manager, who liked me. This district manager told me that if I wanted to be re-hired, he may get me around that, so I should reach out to him if desired.

    Formalities can often be worked around. For instance, if you can't be re-hired to the same position, being re-hired to a different position, and then being transferred to your prior position, might be possible. With friends in the right high places, many things may be possible. (In other words, a C.E.O. can be influential.)

    Whether you have someone who would befriend you like that, and whether that person would be influential enough to succeed, are factors that can vary so much that there is no single universal answer that can tell you whether such a thing might be feasible, or not.

I've heard of some cases that may be a bit more optimistic than some of the other answers:

  • In the construction industry, I'm told that it's routine for people to get fired for a mistake, whether it is actually their mistake, or just officially their mistake when the problem was actually just a mistake caused by a co-worker. When there's a problem, they don't make a serious investigation of who caused the issue; they find someone who fits a description of being officially liable, and just fire that person. This way, management doesn't remain liable for doing nothing when a problem occurred.

    For instance, a person operating machinery is trusting the signals provided by a guider. The guider gives a bad signal; the machine operator is liable, even though everyone in the company understands that, for efficiency reasons, machine operators routinely trust signals from guiders (since machine operators often cannot see what they are doing).

    When this happens, the person who is fired is blacklisted, unable to be re-hired by the same company.

    • However, they just get one of the abundant jobs provided by another company. This "other company" may owned by the same parent company that owns the company that fired the employee. So if A owns B and C, and B fires a person, they can work at C. No problem.

      That is a key reason why the employees don't really fight the system that may allow them to get fired when someone else causes a big mistake.

  • Churches may be more accepting. A central theme of Christianity is forgiveness, and the religion encourages people to focus on living on a good life while not focusing on transgressions that occur prior to reformation. If the commercial sector finds your past intolerable, maybe there is room for you in another culture (even within your geography). If being employed by a church doesn't seem attractive, there may be other options like other types of non-profit organizations.
    • Of course, going this route may require some more differences. Non-profit organizations are often heavy on volunteerism, and being employed may involve reduced pay compared to working in the private sector. Churches, specifically, may also be inclined not to hire someone who hasn't agreed to their belief system.
  • I have a friend who worked for an agency. The agency's customer said my friend was late for work. The agency said they permanently blacklisted my friend.

    Whether my friend was actually late, or not, may even have been in dispute. He wasn't told by the customer that he was late (when he arrived). However, the agency appeases customers more than their employees (drawn from a labor pool where many people do exhibit such significant problems), so the agency may be relatively prone to be quick about permanently blacklisting anyone who seems like a possible problem.

    Six years later, my friend checked with the agency again. Turns out, the agency didn't have any records of the prior incident.

    (Note that this wasn't a routine practice. It's not like the company routinely purged their documents every 5 years. What did happen is that this company, a locally owned branch which used the name of a much larger and more famous organization, was sold. When the new owners took over, something happened which resulted in a loss of these records.)

    The hiring personnel there said that anything that happened before a certain specific date wouldn't have any effect on him now. My friend was readily encouraged to continue completing the application/hiring process, without concern about what he was told earlier.

Is it possible to apply for a job from the same company?

Based on the first example I applied, perfectly possible. Based on the latter example, such amnesty may be unroutine, so this may not be a highly feasible strategy that works in many incidents, but to answer the question of whether such a thing is ever possible, the answer is "yes". (Not, "Yes, most definitely", but "Yes, it could be. It could happen.")

And what is the likelihood of being rehired?

Less likely than if you didn't have this on your record. However, hiring practices vary so much between organizations that it is impossible to accurately provide exact chances. What would never happen in one organization might happen easily at another organization. Even within the same company, you might be able to get different results if you try things at different times. So, your precise likelihood could potentially vary so much that this likelihood is not accurately predictable with certain precision.

I suppose what I can safely say is that what happened before most certainly has the potential of being a significant hurdle, and quite possibly could be an absolute road block (as noted by many of other answers), and definitely is not a point in your favor. So, good luck.


The likelihood to get re-hired by the same company: Zero

Seriously, you've crossed a line. Now, you need to respect their boundary. Don't mistake them for your parents. These people are not your parents and they are not going to take you back (like your parents might).

It's not like that boundary is unreasonable either. They didn't call the police. And they most likely don't want you to remain unemployed for the rest of your life because of this.

Now, you need to let go of them and apply to other jobs where you can restart with a clean slate. That's the beauty of working in an area with millions of people instead of working in a small village where everybody knows each other. You can make mistakes, and if those mistakes are small enough, you can start afresh at a new place where no one will hold those mistakes against you.

But do not think that frees you to do whatever you want either. They didn't call the police, but they still can. And if you still wish to ignore their wishes, after you've crossed the line already once, do not pretend to be shocked if they suddenly take the next step and (with no other warning) start treating you like a criminal.

Now, this doesn't mean that you can't contact them by email if you have questions about your last paycheck or any other ongoing HR related matters (assuming that hasn't been explicitly forbidden). You probably can. But please exercise extreme caution, and use any human empathy you might have, to try to see it from their own personal perspective. You crossed a line. You broke their trust. They have no idea how well you've taken the news. If they see that you're in denial about what happened, because you re-applied for another job with them (even at a different branch/store), they're going to assume that you're potentially dangerous and potentially vindictive.

And please don't interpret this as an insult, it is not one, it's just that those folks are not mind-readers. It doesn't matter how good your intentions may be now. And it doesn't matter how badly you want to make amends. But if you don't follow standard social conventions, like respecting people's boundaries, they're going to want to assume the worst about you.

  • 6
    This seems more like a humorous comment than an answer.
    – reirab
    Jun 24, 2017 at 20:44
  • Yes, it was. I've since amended it to make it more serious. I will also keep working on it. Jun 25, 2017 at 0:00

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