What to do if my mother-in law owns a small gas station and has had issues with money and merchandise being stolen?

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What to do if my mother-in law owns a small gas station and has had issues with money and merchandise being stolen?

She had suspected a employee of the theft and was “holding out” hoping she would quit so she wouldn’t have to fire her(a long time family friend). Well she quit on her own after hearing she was being accused of theft. She threw the key at my MIL and called her names in front of customers, then a few hours later her mother came in and raised quite a scene. She is now going around spending some pretty nasty rumors. Can anything be done? My MIL is now afraid of going to work. I should also say this woman is calling other employees and canceling their shift at the store.

Asked on August 4, 2013 under Personal Injury, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are several possibilities, which your MIL should ideally discuss with an attorney in detail, to see which are best:

1)  Sue this person for defamation (spreading false statements of fact which put your MIL in a bad light);

2) Sue her for tortious interference with economic advantage--using defamation and the calls to other employees to harm your MIL's business);

3) Sue her for  any thing/money your MIL believes was stolen;

4) Go to the police and press charges for theft and/or report that the woman is stealing people's identity, if she's pretending to be either your MIL or the other employees when she calls to cancel shifts;

5) Seek a protective/restrainting order.


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