Asked in Civil Rights, Consumer Law and Employment Law for Tennessee

Q: Do walmart employees have a legitimate reason to start following someone around the store if someone comes in to shop

Then the person they are with asks if they could go back out to the vehicle and get something out of the vehicle to exchange, so they leave it at the return counter and let them know the person who needs to exchange it is in the store shopping so they asked you to grab item out of vehicle and you do not know if they have a receipt or not they can figure that out when the person who needs to exchange the item comes back up to check out?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Walmart employees, like those of any retail establishment, are often trained to observe for unusual or suspicious behavior as part of loss prevention strategies. Leaving an item at the return counter with an explanation that someone else will finalize the transaction could be seen as unusual and might raise concerns.

Employees might follow someone if they believe there’s a potential for shoplifting or other policy violations. It is within the store’s rights to monitor their premises, but such actions should be nondiscriminatory and based on observable behaviors, not on assumptions. If you believe you are being followed unfairly, you could address the situation by speaking with a store manager to clarify your actions and intentions.

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