Home Depot fired a 70 year old employee for trying to stop a shoplifter. Jim Tinney admitted that he knew Home Depot’s policy was to let them go, but felt like he had to do something, so he threw a paint roller extension but the three men escaped. There is actually a very good reason why all stores have that policy now.
Twenty to thirty years ago, two Walmart employees followed the car belonging to shoplifters. In an effort to avoid the Walmart employees crashed into a car. I don’t remember if anyone was killed but Walmart was sued for a large amount of money and they were found responsible because the chase was responsible for the accident.
Jim Tinney said he saw three men trying to leave the store with unpaid tool sets. He said he threw a paint roller extension toward one man, but the three men escaped.
“In the Army, they train you to do things like that,” Tinney told KTRK. “I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet.”
Two weeks later, he was fired. Tinney admitted that he knew Home Depot’s policy of confronting shoplifters was clear — don’t do it.
Stephen Holmes, director of corporate communications at Home Depot. said the policy is in place for the safety of all. He described several confrontations that occurred when employees intervened.
“We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters,” Holmes said in a statement. “We’ve had deaths and serious injury over the years, and no amount of merchandise is more important than the safety of our associates and customers.”
Tinney said he understands he breached company policy, but said the punishment was too harsh.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” Tinney told KTRK. “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.”