Employer accused me of stealing items because they found items in bottom of a box in my work area (which other people in office have free access to). I was terminated via email. In termination email they stated that they found the items, and that they did an audit of what they thought were other missing items, but those items appeared during their audit. They stated that they filed a police report for felony theft against me because the items that they claim I stole (the items that never left their possession or property and they fully accounted for) were worth $1,700.
What actions should I take to protect myself from their claims? How can I find if there really is a police report? What recourse do I have against their absurd claims that I stole items but nothing is missing? I am livid!
I can think of two options. 1. Hire a criminal defense attorney preindictment to help assure you are never charged. 2. Talk to an emoyment law attorney about the allegations and firing to determine what if any rights you have. Be careful not to discuss the facts in an open or public forum as anything you write could be used against you.
This comment is being left for informational purposes only and based solely on the information provided in the question. This comment does NOT create an attorney - client relationship. An attorney should be contact directly and given the full details of the specific circumstances in order to be best able to assist in the issues at hand.
Ms. Vonau's advice is sound. You should protect yourself, but do not share any more details here. Get an attorney asap, prefereably one with experience in or at least an appreciation for both criminal defense and employment law in Illinois. Good luck.
The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You should consult with a criminal defense attorney in the county where your employment was located, and refrain from speaking with any police or workplace investigators regarding the false accusations without counsel. Do not respond to any emails from your employer, and save all the emails you received. If in fact a police report has been made, you will not be able to access it during the investigation stage in any event. Finally, you may want to consult an employment attorney, particularly if no criminal charges are filed.