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ARTICLES:

DISHONESTY or STEALING issues

Your employer has accused you of some form of dishonesty

Honesty-related problems crop up regularly in employment cases. Sometimes we can diffuse them and sometimes not. Depending on the unique facts of the case, allegations of honesty problems might actually strengthen your case. It makes me dig deeper, looking for a good lawsuit, when I see my opponent making obviously bogus pretextual allegations of resume fraud or time card fraud or some clearly ridiculous “theft” accusation. It’s sometimes a cover-up for a Wrongful Termination or other form of illegal Retaliation.

  • If the employer is telling other people about how you are a thief, you might find my Defamation and Slander article of some interest.
  • If you have a Contract or Non-Compete Agreement, lawyers might suspect that the employer is falsely accusing you in order to gain an advantage in some future legal battle he foresees having with you.
  • If you received a Severance Agreement while being fired for an honesty problem, a lawyer might suspect that the employer was more concerned with providing you an incentive to sign the agreement than he was in firing you for the alleged honesty problem. This is often an interesting scenario that merits close scrutiny.
  • Consider getting a Service Letter and see if the employer’s got the guts to repeat the accusation when under penalty of law to be truthful.

Key Questions

Here are some key questions if you’ve been accused of stealing or dishonesty. These are things which you need to be prepared to talk about with a lawyer. Lawyers will be looking for some sign that you are being falsely accused or unjustly punished in Retaliation for something, because the retaliation might give you legal rights. Lawyers will also be looking for signs that people are being treated unequally based on their gender, pregnancy, race, age, disability, religion, national origin, etc., which may give you rights under the Discrimination laws:

  • Do other employees get fired (or get similar discipline) for the same thing you were accused of doing? If not, then why?
  • Does the employer really believe that you committed a dishonest act, even if you disagree?
  • Does the employer have any evidence that you really did commit a dishonest act, or is the employer simply lying about you without having any evidence to back it up?
  • Is there a legitimate argument that the thing you did was not really dishonest?
  • Did a co-worker or supervisor falsely accuse you of dishonesty in order to retaliate against you for some form of protected activity? See my Retaliation article for much more on the subject of protected activity.
  • Did a supervisor tell you to do the allegedly dishonest thing?
  • Did you commit a simple oversight or error, and the employer is twisting and distorting the facts to make it appear that you intended to be dishonest?
  • Have you commonly done the same act without any problems previously?

When you call lawyers, they will appreciate it if you are prepared to discuss the questions I listed above.

NOTE: If your register has been too short too often, there’s probably not much I can do for you.


***** END OF ARTICLE *****

Timslaw.com Missouri Employment Law

Maintained by Attorney Phil Willoughby
Founded by Tim Willoughby, Esq. (1959-2013)

Phil is a Missouri employment lawyer who is licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, and primarily takes cases in Saint Louis and Kansas City. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and Kansas Bar Association. Additionally, he has practiced in the United States Federal Courts of Missouri in St. Louis and Kansas City. He has also practiced in the Kansas Federal District Court in Kansas City, Kansas.

Missouri Bar Website (To view the directory of lawyers).

Phil Willoughby, Attorney
Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Kansas City Office:
GUNN, SHANK & STOVER, P.C.
9800 NW Polo, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64153
Google Map of 9800 NW Polo, Kansas City, MO 64053

St. Louis, MO Office:
Appointment Only

Phone:
St. Louis: 314-729-7750
Kansas City: 816-454-5600
Fax: 816-454-3678

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