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Empirical Assessment of Employee Theft Lawsuits Involving Allegations of Employer Misconduct

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 34 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2006 Pages: 175-183
Shaun L. Gabbidon; Patricia A. Patrick; Steven A. Peterson
Date Published
March 2006
9 pages
This study examined the features and outcomes of State-level cases in which employees sued their employers because their employers had accused them of theft.
The study found that most of the cases involved private corporations. Although there were a variety of reasons why the employees brought the lawsuits against their employers, the most frequent reasons were to appeal a conviction and to seek remedies for slander or defamation, wrongful termination, malicious prosecution, constitutional violations, and other unemployment-related issues. Employee claims were upheld in 60 percent of the cases. A successful claim was more likely when the offense at issue involved larceny, when a mid-level employee was involved, and when a private organization was the employer. The chance of success was reduced if the employee was in a high-level position and when the charges against the employee resulted from an internal review. The Lexis-Nexis legal database was used to identify employee theft cases from 1960 through 2004 (n=217). This database provided case summaries that included the circumstances of the case and the court's decision. Information was obtained on the manner of theft, the manner of detection, and type of employee. 8 tables and 22 references


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