Retailers Compile Blacklist Of Workers Accused Of Theft

employee theft databaseBy Ashley Lutz

Retailers are keeping track of employees suspected of stealing in databases that could keep them from ever working in the industry again.

These databases are used my major retailers including Family Dollar, Target, and CVS, report Stephanie Clifford and Jessica Silver-Greenberg at The New York Times.

The databases usually don't involve criminal charges, and most employees aren't aware that they've been put on the list until it's too late, according to the Times.

"But the databases, which are legal, are facing scrutiny from labor lawyers and federal regulators, who worry they are so sweeping that innocent employees can be harmed," the Times reported. "The lawyers say workers are often coerced into confessing, sometimes when they have done nothing wrong, without understanding that they will be branded as thieves."

More: Nice People Shouldn't Work In This Industry

Employee thefts cost retailers about $15 billion a year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The Times spoke to several people who are suing the database companies after being turned down for jobs. Some had not even admitted guilt for the alleged thefts.

Proponents of the databases say that it's important for companies to weed out potential thieves in the struggling economy.

But consumer attorneys say the system is full of abuses, since the database entries generally stem from statements obtained by a store's security force, which are not subject to due process, and employees may not even know such records exist.

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April 07 2013 at 7:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Debbie L. Wagner

I don't see how this can be legal when legally the only thing an employer can disclose is if you worked for them, how long and wage info. So this seems debatable.

April 05 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christine W

I did the retail Management thing for over 15 years...retail is very cut throat...The only thing I see wrong is that you don't even have to have charges against you...anyone could say you stole and end up on that list when you didn't do anything at all. I have had many Managers, and Security that I knew that blamed things they did on other people...the list could have people on it that someone just didn't like or something to that nature. I believe that if they can not prove anything and if charges were not filed they should not be on said list....

April 04 2013 at 2:47 PM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply

personal opinion, no one has to agree with me; well how are employees scrutinized, is it based on heresay, personal observation, video capturing of the thefts or what? Hell, anyone who is not content with someone may just as well make false allegations against another so how are they blacklisting people?......... so with the person agree who stated , wouldn't want to work for people who use deception or dishonesty in gathering their information. Eemployers should be transparent in their behavior (collection of information) if they want their employees to behave in the same manner.

April 04 2013 at 2:47 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply

As well they should. Liars, Cheats, and Thieves are what drive prices up for honest Americans. It is bad enough we have Liars, Cheats, and Thieves controlling our Political System and, as the last election indicates, the Majority of Americans are fine with that. It is time to stand up for Morality in America....

April 04 2013 at 2:46 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

So how do you confess to stealing but not realize that will "brand you as a thief"?

April 04 2013 at 2:42 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

If you don\'t like theemployment terms and risks of the job, McDonalds is hiring.

April 04 2013 at 2:29 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

something to ponder!

April 04 2013 at 2:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Good idea to ban known thieves!
Shame this doesn't work on re-electing politicians.

April 04 2013 at 2:21 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

I don't steal so the list doesn't bother me in the least. If I was a business owner or manager ( I managed a salon for years) I would want that list to insure that I'm hiring people who aren't known to steal from the company.
You can call it black listing but hey, if you do the right thing, you won't be on the list!

April 04 2013 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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