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NSW Falsely Accused of Theft - What are My Rights?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Hannyy, 22 October 2014.

  1. Hannyy

    Hannyy Member

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    I work in a retail store, at the end of day we do a cash banking. The cash amount is written on an ANZ envelop and another piece of paper in the security folder. That day I wrote $500 on the piece of paper and APPARENTLY i wrote $400 on the ANZ envelop and banked $400 as the envelop was taken to the bank and they said it was $400. My employers are now accusing me of stealing ( theft) the $100 as it is missing. I think it was a human error that I wrote $400. Where the $100 went, I have no clue.

    What are my employee rights? How can I lodge my defence to prove that I didn't steal the money? The company has treated me horribly for the last 4 years and I think they are just trying to frame me to fire me. I am happy to leave however I don't want my reputation ruined due to false allegations.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    At this stage there is only an accusation. What does the employer intend to do?

    What is the money trail? Who counted the money, anyone verify the money count? Who put money in the envelope? Who deposited the envelope at the bank? Did anyone else handle the money? Does the till total show $500 or $400?

    In the meantime you should write up your own notes about what happened regarding the cash. Make it is detailed as you can, but do NOT show anyone else your notes at this stage. Notes are to aid your recollection as this matter could drag on for a weeks/months.

    Continue to protest your innocence and wait to see what happens.
     
  3. Hannyy

    Hannyy Member

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    I think the employer wants to fire me, which is fine by me. The company treats everyone horribly and I want to leave. However I want my integrity enact.

    I counted the money and placed it inside the ANZ bag (i can not remember if I sealed it or not)
    My manager took the bag to the ANZ bank to deposit it. The bank called up my company and said there was 400 in the bag. If the bag wasn't sealed then anyone could've accessed the money, however I can't remember since its been over 2 weeks ago. Still waiting for work to contact me.

    Thank you for your advice so far!
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    How much was the till total? Was the bag sealed?
     
  5. Owens Lawyers

    Owens Lawyers Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately there's not much you can do about integrity. Unless your employer starts claiming publicity that you stole money, including in relation to reference checks from prospective employers. That might give rise to a claim of defamation.

    What is important is that you know your rights now. Your employer CAN'T deduct the alleged missing amount from your wage. That breaches the Fair Work Act. In reality, they'd need a court order to do that.

    They CAN'T dismiss you without a valid reason. They would need proof that you stole the money. Not the 'beyond reasonable doubt' criminal standard of proof, but some evidence nonetheless. If they do dismiss you, you may have an unfair dismissal claim. Remember: you have only 21 days from the date the dismissal took effect (the later of the last day you worked or when you were told)to make an unfair dismissal claim to the Fair Work Commission.

    If they get the police involved, the police may want to question you or get a statement. You should get legal advice before you speak to the police. Although most people want the opportunity to 'clear their name' this is rarely wise without first getting advice, even if you have nothing to hide.

    Because you are in NSW, LawAccess NSW is the first call you should make.
     

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