Tulare, CA asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law, Divorce and Civil Rights for California

Q: In california while using a self check out, can a walmart employee search through my bag and count my items

I was at a self checkout and 1 of my items was scanning at a higher cost than stated on the sign. I asked a employee for assistance with the item. I stated that these socks are marked for clearance for $2.50. I had already scanned 8 pairs and they all scanned for the correct price $2.50. This is the only pair not marked correctly. ( all 9 pairs of socks were the same brand, same packaging. Only difference were color schemes.) She looks at my items previously scanned and comments out loud " looks to me like you have more items in your bag than 9 items" as she is taking my previously scanned items out of my bag counting them. I asked what she was doing and she replied " MY JOB!! I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT AND SEARCH WHOEVER I WANT!".Her search revealed that she was mistsken, and i had scanned every item in my bag. It was very embarrassing and she was very very rude and unapologetic. Im not looking to pursue any actions. I just wanted clarification . were her actions le

3 Lawyer Answers
William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's arguably false imprisonment. It's different than Costco, which has a Membership Agreement. Refusing, however, has its costs and your remedy is a lawsuit, the end result of which is not guaranteed to be satisfactory to you since your damages are effectively $0. Complying also has costs, which are minimal.

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info would be helpful.

did they have a warning they could/would do this?

did they find anything improper?

what caused them to suspect something wrong?

obviously, it is a lot earlier if you haven't done anything wrong to let it go.

David Michael Lehr
David Michael Lehr
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Ventura, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is legal.

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