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California - termination involving cash shortage California

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  • California - termination involving cash shortage California

    My friend has worked at the same store as a cashier for the past 4 years. She works in returns. During that time she has never had an overage or shortage. The other day a cash drawer that is shared by multiple employees came up about $500.xx short. The amount of the transaction is double the amount of a transaction in which she was supposed to charge the customer. So they are assuming that she refunded him instead of charging him that amount. (Refunded $250.xx instead of charging $250.xx)

    1. Is the amount of the transaction enough to terminate a fairly long term employee with no record of overages or shortages, (keeping in mind that several people were in the drawer processing cash transactions)? I know it's at-will employment, but given California's employee friendly laws where does she stand?

    2. She is the only employee in her Department over 40. Her supervisors have been incredibly mean to her, and treat her differently than the others. The other day they posted on facebook making fun of her age.
    As far as she knows there haven't been other employees with losses, so she doesn't know what the standard is for this specific situation. However, they have been doing everything in their power to make her miserable. For example, they rated her below meets expectations on her review. When she challenged them they had to back track and give her a raise because they had no documentation of her doing anything wrong. I can give you a dozen more examples.

    Does the cash loss (since it's a possible legitimate termination) negate any claim that she may have based on the age/harassment issue?

  • #2
    1. That's up to the employer. The laws, even in California, are silent on the "fairness" of a termination. She has a good chance of getting unemployment benefits, though; she should file right away if she has not already done so.

    2. Not my area of expertise. Check back for further responses.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      I wouldnt say that the cash loss would negate her claims (if the claims are indeed legitimate). Did she ever complain to anyone in management or hr about not the "harassment"? The employer is expected to make the behavior stop if an employee is part of a hostile work environment. This may not even rise to that level. Assuming that it does; an employer cant make the behavior stop if they dont know about it.

      If she gets fired, a claim of "they fired me because i was over 40" probably wouldnt stand because of the cash shortage; especially since there isnt an instance before where someone under 40 got away with it.