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Theft Proves Costly to Employee
December 18, 2007

An employee who was alleged to have stolen approximately $6,000 from her employer while at work was recently ordered to reimburse her employer $30,512. The employee worked as a cashier, customer service representative and in the cash office at Canada Safeway. The employer determined the employee was not properly documenting returns and refunds, and stealing the difference. Evidence establishing the thefts was gathered through security cameras and a security officer.

The employee was criminally charged with theft over $5,000, and pleaded guilty to theft under $5,000. The employer also sued the employee for damages for its loss, estimated at $6,000, based on a theft of $100 per day on the 60 shifts the employee worked over a three-month period.

The BC Supreme Court found that the employer’s manner of assessing its cash loss due to the employee’s theft was based on the best evidence available and was a reasonable and fair approach. On this basis, it ruled the employer was entitled to $6,000 for its loss of cash.

The Court also ordered the employee to pay an additional $24,512 plus interest to the employer, as compensation for the use of its corporate resources to investigate the theft and assist the Crown and police in the criminal prosecution.

Canada Safeway Limited v. Brown, 2007 BCSC 1619.