If a co-worker is caught stealing from other co-workers and the business owners refuse to act, can they be held liable?
Question Details: My fiance has been getting his tips stolen by the same girl for a while now. There's no telling how much she got away with or who else she stole from. She was caught by a customer and my fiance and another employee as witness. She gave the tip she got caught stealing back to him but that is not enough. What about all the other money she got? She hasn't been fired yet and I fear action will be taken on him instead for calling it to attention. What are his rights? Can the business be held responsible as well as her?
1) The employer is not responsible for the criminal actions of an employee up to the point they are made aware of them (see below): while employers are responsible for the acts of their employees committed in the course of or as part of their employment, committing crimes (e.g. stealing from coworkers) is not part of their job, and so the employer is not responsible for them, at least at first.
2) However, employers can be responsible for "negligent supervision," or failing to properly supervise, manage, etc. employees. Once an employer is aware that an employee is committing crimes at work, if at that point, the employer fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the continuance of criminal acts, the employer can be liable. So the employer could potentially be held liable for (i.e. sued for, and have to pay) stolen tips (assuming you can prove they were stolen in the first place) from AFTER the thefts were brought to their attention--but not before.
3) The coworker herself can be held liable: she can be sued for the money and repoerted to the police.