Monday, May 12, 2014

What do retailers do if someone is thought to be stealing?

I was sitting at a local restaurant today reading an apocalyptic novel when I heard a female sandwich maker shout, "Mam, you have to pay for those drinks.  I've heard you have been taking drinks without paying.  You can't do that."  The lady 'taking' the drinks was an African-American postal worker  I assume she has been allowed to take free drinks in the past as she promptly paid for the drinks.  It raises the question: is there liability for wrongly accusing someone of stealing? 

Yes there is.  It could be considered slander as you are accusing someone of being a thief.  It would have been better to ask the woman if she wanted to pay with cash or credit card.  Even if she had been stealing the amount of money wouldn't be worth the lawsuit or the bad publicity.

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