Danny Gallagher reported in the McKinney Courier-Gazette a couple of days ago that a McDonalds Restaurant was robbed at gunpoint. Surveillance photos released by the police show the assailant physically accosting the manager. Go figure – it got me thinking about how a robbery affects a business from the employment law standpoint.
So, should there be a policy in the old employee handbook?
Maybe not every business, but places that have cash that tempts a thief should consider having a policy. That policy should outline that the lives of employees and their personal safety is far more important than attempting to protect the company’s money from a would-be thief. Employees should be warned not to attempt to take any action against a thief and that they will be disciplined or terminated if they do take action.
Of course, some of you are now thinking that I have lost my mind. Why in the world should you fire an employee who decides to play Batman and get a little vigilante justice? Fair question. Answer: liability. If your employee is hurt or killed in the process of attempting to protect a few sheckles in the cash register, you are going to wish the robber had gotten away with it when you start paying me to defend the personal injury suit by the employee!
What is worse, if your employee hurts or kills the assailant, you might be sued for causing the injury. Would the suit be successful? Maybe not, but remember my ever repeated maxim: “Anybody can sue anyone for anything!” The cost to dispose of the suit would undoubtedly be more than the money you recovered from the thief.