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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 110540
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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I worked at Drs. & 13 years, which was then purchased

Customer Question

I worked at Drs. Foster & Smith for over 13 years, which was then purchased 02/02/15 by Petco. I was terminated on 1/19/16. I had been seeing several dr's to figure out why my ankle was so swollen and sore. After 7 drs. it was determined at the Mayo Clinic that I have ankylosing spondilitis. I told my supervisor as well as assistant manager and manager approximately a week before termination. I was very happy that I finally knew what what going on. On 1/16/16 I was working overtime and someone called in to order some dog food that was listed as $2.99 a case on our website thumbnail and product page. This also came up at this price on our inhouse system. I questioned supervisor Jenny who stated that she did not know the price that for all she knew that was the price and to sell it to the customer. I filled out a follow up questioning the price. I went home and 2 or 3 hours later I checked and it was still showing that price so I called the order in. I placed the order billing and shipping with my name and address with my credit card. 1/17/16 I was talking to the same supervisor about my order and she mentioned that too bad I wasn't able to get my employee discount since I did not place the order at the store. I mentioned we had a coupon (I forgot at the time that it didn't cover pet food) she went in to credit me and stated the order was cancelled. It said in the notes the product was unavailable. I didn't question it. I did look at it later and I was credited all but $.19 back to my card. Monday 1/18/16 I went to ask for a work restriction form as my dr. had requested. 1/19/16 approximately 1/2 way thru my 10 hour shift I was told by Fawn Lawton to come meet with her. I wasn't able to find her at first and went to see the manager Cindy Schneider. She invited me in and made small talk then went to find Fawn. They closed the doors and started to interrogate me. They said that by placing the order I was stealing from the company and tried to get me to admit that I had done so several times. I told them I did not feel that I had since I had brought this up and followed up. I was told that I should know the price of the food. I explained it was new and I had never seen it before. They told me to go back on the phones while they talked to human resources about this. I went on to take credit card information for approximately 4 1/2 or 5 hours til the end of my shift at 5:30pm. I was again taken into the office for more interrogation and them trying to make me admit I knew what I did was wrong. I would not so after about 20 minutes I told them my day was done and I had to use the bathroom and asked them what this came down to. They stated that the could no longer trust me and I could not work there anymore. I filed for unemployment and they first stated I was discharged for dishonesty. I then received a tracking e-mail regarding my order that was on its way to me. Part of the order was shipped and delivered to me. Jamie a supervisor at Petco/Drs. Foster & Smith called to state that I had to return the product since I was refunded. I told her to send me a label and I did. I opened the boxes and took pictures and had the UPS driver sign stating what he picked up. After I returned the information on what happened the paperwork came back stating I was discharged for misconduct due to misappropriation of company funds. To this day I have not been fully credited back either. So it seems to me they are the ones that lied and stoled. Please help me. I can be reached at 1-***-***-**** or***@******.***.
Sarah Kracht
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
You need to pursue your appeal of your unemployment denial. You should use a local attorney to do so and unemployment law attorneys do not charge up front, they charge a small percentage based on the benefits they win for you. If there was a mistake with the pricing and coupon, this is a defense to the employer's claims as in order to prove theft or misappropriation they have to prove you intended to deprive the employer.
In addition to the appeal, you need to also file a complaint with the EEOC for them discriminating against you based on your disability and notifying them of your disability, which is contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act and complain about their denial of your disability accommodations and also creating this situation as a pretext for discrimination under the ADA. The EEOC has to investigate and grant you a right to sue letter to allow you to proceed to court against the employer.