Rights of the Employee When Accused of Theft


If you have been accused of theft at your place of employment, your primary worry may be whether or not you will be fired from that job. However, you may want to be concerned for more than just your employment status when it comes to theft. If you have been accused of theft, it is well within your employer’s rights to bring criminal theft charges against you.

However, theft charges brought about by your employer will be a little different than theft charges from breaking into a house, for example. As an employee, you are entitled to certain rights.


The Civil Rights Act, Title VII protect employees from discrimination. Your gender, race, age, or religion cannot be used against you to terminate your employment. This can work in your favor when it comes to theft charges. You are afforded the right to view your HR file when charged with theft.

Inside, it will have not only details about your work performance and any disciplinary action, but it will have surveillance and manager statements as well. If these are proven to be discriminatory, it can work in your benefit. Furthermore, if you can also document a history of discriminatory statements or actions on the part of the accuser, this is helpful as well.


Privacy at work is a complicated issue. The general rule of thumb is if the employer owns it, they can search it. They can’t search your personal vehicle, but they can search a company car that you are using. They can’t search your personal phone, but work phones and e-mail are perfectly fine when it comes to a search.

They can’t search your person, but they can search your desk. You also have the right to refuse a lie detector tests under the Employee Polygraph Protection Act.


If you are accused of theft at work, it will likely not remain a simple work matter. They may try to persuade you away from calling a lawyer, but it is well within your rights for you to have legal counsel and know what you are being accused of. Theft can come in many forms.

You may not be accused of stealing physical goods, but rather can be charged with selling or giving information about the company to their competitors or even giving out discounts without authorization.

Sometimes, you can be committing theft without even realizing it. While you may think admitting fault can make the issue go away, it can actually work against you. By having a lawyer by your side, even if official criminal charges haven’t been filed yet, it can give your case the best possible start.

This is particularly true even if you are guilty of theft. While getting a lawyer may seem to show guilt, what it really is showing is that your intelligent enough to not be railroaded with a crime that you potentially didn’t commit.


Are you being accused of theft at your place of employment in Minnesota? It is not something that will just go away. If you are innocent, there is a chance that they may find the real culprit, but there is also a chance that they will think that real criminal is you.

Businesses don’t file theft charges unless the crime is very serious, and you should treat it just as serious as you would a robbery or a burglary charge. If you are looking at theft charges, contact us today to see what the Speas Law Firm can do to help you in your own defense.