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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116713
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was in a Wawa’s recently where I ordered 2 salads and 2

Customer Question

I was in a Wawa’s recently where I ordered 2 salads and 2 soups. I went to the register and paid for the items, then went back to the deli and waited for my order. I had asked the person making the salads to add extra lettuce and red peppers to my salad. I then turned and collected my condiments and when I turned back the deli person was placing dressing on the salad. I asked that he put it on the side as it sticks to the lid. I then said to him (with no malice or disrespect intended),” That I guess you haven’t made that many salads”, (I always saw him working the register). I then said “Oh, it’s just that the others always put the dressing on the side.” He place my soup order in one bag and 3 salad bowls into another bag and handed them to me. I was assuming that the 3 bowl contained my extra lettuce and peppers. When I got back to work and took out the salads I noticed that my extra bowl actually contained the same items as my original salad, again I thought perhaps because of the extra items I had asked for the deli person split it into two bowls. I again frequented the store 4 days later, placed my order, paid and left the store. 2 days after that I entered the store, placed my order and while heading towards the register the Manager approached me with 2 Deputies (they were in the store with several other officers having coffee and chit chatting). She proceeded to accuse me of stealing a salad bowl when I was in several days ago and that I was rude to her employees and that I was being trespassed from the store. I was not even able to have a dialog with the manager as to the incident in question before she walked off and the Deputies were asking me for my license and telling me I had to leave the store. I have never stolen anything in my life. I was embarrassed and humiliated and am now labeled a thief in the eyes of the Deputies. I am a Retired Police Officer and am currently a Nurse. I frequent this Wawa’s 3 to 4 times a week when I am working and I know that the deli person has a computer system that shows when the orders are paid for. So if I didn’t pay for this extra salad bowl (again I assumed it was my extra stuff) why did they not say something at the time before I left the store. Why not say something when I came in 4 days later. I felt the manager waited hoping I would come in at a time when the Police were there have coffee so that she could embarrass and humiliate me. I tried several times to contact corporate, leaving messages for the District Manager to call me. Have not received a reply back. Could you tell me if I have a law suit against Wawa’s.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: It was a verbal Trespass and I did report it to the Operator at Wawa Corporate and she assured me she would have the District Manager Call me
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 days 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.
As you know from your career as a law enforcement officer, the business is a private business and as such they can refuse to allow anyone they choose onto their property for any reason except for based only on the age/race/sex/disability/national origin and the individual does not have rights to force the business to allow them onto the premises.
Had they arrested you for this, the case would be much different, since there must be (as you know as a retired officer) an "intent to permanently deprive" the business and in your situation there was no intent to permanently deprive, you asked for a little extra and instead of doing that they seem to have made a mistake they are trying to blame you for. Again, you are correct in they should have done something at least the next time that you came into the store. However, as far as legal action against them there are no actual provable damages suffered from them simply telling you not to come back into the store as you would have had they falsely arrested you claiming theft when none existed. They did not have you arrested likely because the deputies told them they could not prove you intended to steal anything, so at this point it is something that you have to deal with through corporate and because it is a verbal trespassing notice to you there is no actual record of it, the deputies who were there would have to enforce it by testifying in court they did tell you not to come back to the store.
At this point, I would suggest that you get this worked out from corporate with the company, since legally you do not have any grounds for civil action right now as you cannot show actual damage based on what you said above.
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Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Thankyou
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 days ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.