Do I have to pay a civil penalty?

UPDATED: Feb 11, 2012

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Do I have to pay a civil penalty?

I was fired from my previous job for stealing expired product. As a result, I signed a statement clarifying what I took, as well as the dollar value, and agreed to pay that value ($204). Since then, I received a letter from their law offices out of state, saying that I owe $750. The other $546 is for a civil penalty. I never agreed to pay this. Upon speaking with someone at the number they provided, I was informed that I didn’t have to pay it, but that they would recommend a lawsuit if I did not. I have no problem with paying the $204 I agreed to but this civil penalty seems ridiculous.

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are under no obligation legally to pay the $546 as the civil penalty for the items taken from your previous job. However, if you pay the $546 amount you would be assured that you would not be sued in a civil action as to what transpired where you admit you took improperly from your employer.

If you do not pay the $546 demanded, you might get sued or you might not get sued for a set sum by your former employer. It is your call if you want to pay the amount demanded and buy "peace" or run the risk that you could be sued with associated costs of money and your time.

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.

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