Q: Civil Demand Notice, I was an employee using 10$ off coupons on my transactions. Over time made the company lose 300$
I paid for everything I purchased. I want to start off by stating that. I never once stole anything. These coupons are meant to be used along with our associate discount. I would take the points customers didn’t want and add them to my account. If an item I bought was 100$ then I would end up paying 70$. I did my job well and was with this company for three years. This whole situations seems off, I understand my actions but at the same time the one who fired me has never been a fan of me. If there was any slight issue, he would never talk to me face to face. Always went above and beyond to my manager.
This made the store lose 300$ within a time span of six months. This day my manager and the store manager was off. The AP (security) fired me and it’s as if he was waiting until this specific day meaning while I was alone to do so. Other employees at this store do things they shouldn’t be either and I was the only one fired. What do I do if I get a civil demand letter in the mail?
A: Paying a civil demand after the fact will not prevent criminal charges of theft or forgery. Sometimes the vendor will imply that they won't file criminal charges if you pay the civil demand... but they might anyway. Also, once it is reported to law enforcement the vendor can't dismiss the charges... on the prosecutor can do that.
If charged with a crime, would you be convicted? Yes, if you enter a plea of guilty or no contest. Maybe or maybe not if you fight the charge and force them to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Taking the credits meant for someone else is a violation of their trust, so it is easy to understand why they fired you, but I'm not sure it is a crime. I suspect a criminal defense attorney could stir up some reasonable doubt on this issue and, if she was wrong on the law, she could make the case so tough for the state to prosecute that they would probably dismiss or offer a conditional dismissal agreement just to get rid of it.
Without looking at the law, and just jiving on the fact scenario... we know these were $10 coupons were NOT direct mailed or otherwise given to potential NEW customers where the company is taking a loss on the sale in hopes of repeat business. We are talking loyalty points to existing customers to encourage them to buy more stuff. Right? The company has to be OK with the idea that some of these existing customers would have made the purchase for $100 even without the $10 coupon and that $10s off was money just spent on goodwill... customer retention, word of mouth, or whatever. The company also has to know that some of the customers are only buying the product because of the discount... it is not worth $100 to them but it is worth $90... that sort of thing.
Well, guess what... you were both an employee and an existing customer who bought more stuff. If you would have bought it anyway at $80 with an employee discount then the store "lost" potential money but if $70 was the only price you were willing to pay and it wasn't worth $80 TO YOU then they didn't even lose a potential sale... because you weren't gonna pay $80. If that was the case, they only "lost" money if their cost was greater than the $70 you paid. I'm guessing the retail markup is greater than that for many items but, more importantly, I'm fairly certain that the prosecutor has no interest in doing the work necessary to find out and prove that over a class B misdemeanor.
If the store is willing to sell merchandise marked $100 to employees for only $80 then their cost must be $80 or less. Probably much less. The store only loses money on the transaction if their cost is more than the $70 you actually paid. That does not count the potential "opportunity cost" of selling the same item to a regular customer for $100 or at least $90 for a regular customer with the $10-off coupon. But it is only fair to think about the missed sale opportunity if you bought all the items or they all sold out so none were available to these other customers who would have paid more.
These details don't matter for the purposes of criminal law:
I did my job well and was with this company for three years.
[T]he one who fired me has never been a fan of me.
This day my manager and the store manager was off.
The AP (security) fired me and it’s as if he was waiting until this specific day meaning while I was alone to do so.
Other employees at this store do things they shouldn’t be either and I was the only one fired.
1 user found this answer helpful
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