Can I fire an employee (waiter) if I think that he is stealing tips from my customers?

Asked on October 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In an "at will" employment arrangement, an employer can fire an employee for reasons of theft, for any reason or for no reason at all, with or without notice. This is true unless doing so would violate company policy or the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, termination of an employee cannot be based on any form of legally actionable discrimination or retaliation.
The fact is that, if you only think that this manager is stealing tips and have no hard proof, your best bet is to give no reason for the termination...Just let this man go.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.