Can I be fired for asking to see an employees purse after theft occurred?

m a manager at a furniture store. The other
night I counted out the cash deposit. I left it
unattended and witnessed an office girl walk
into the office and come out 510 sec later.
When I re counted it was 200 short. Before she
left I asked to check her purse. Did I violate any
laws, I later put the 200 of my own money in to
cover the deposit and am now having my job
threatened because the office employee feels
accused.

Asked on May 2, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibts your termination under these circumstances? If not, then as an "at will" worker, you can be fired for this reason, any reason or no reason at all (with or without notice). The fact is that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a written employment contract preventing them from firing you for this reason or otherwise guarantying your job, you were an "employee at will." An employee at will, unfortunately, has no job protections and no rights to his/her job; he or she can be terminated at any time, for any reason, including accusing someone of theft or looking into their purse.


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