I am a 23-year-old single mother to a 3-year-old boy who I am raising by myself, with no help from his father. I have worked very hard the past years to stay off the welfare rolls, to work hard, and support my son and myself without government assistance.
In the almost 3 years I worked for Walgreens, I was promoted 5 times. I started out as a front cashier who worked 4 hours a week, and by the time I was fired last week, I was a Senior Certified Pharmacy Technician. In the time that I worked for the company, I didn't have any major problems with them. I worked hard, as my promotions demonstrated, and I still have lifelong friends throughout the stores I worked in, ranging from cashiers and photo clerks to pharmacists and pharmacy managers. All have vouched for my character in this incident.
Last Thursday a loss prevention employee came in, took me into a room where I sat alone with her for 2 hours, and told me I was a thief. Despite the fact that I've had access to powerful and valuable narcotics all this time, and I've NEVER been accused of any sort of theft, she tried to nail me for supposedly stealing a box of cheap (not even $10) hair color.
She grilled me for 2 hours. She didn't ask if I had stolen. She told me that I had. She said if I couldn't provide her with the reciept from the purchase (which was a month prior to this), then that was proof enough. I mentioned that the burden of proof IS on the accuser. She refused to show me the videotapes that supposedly had evidence of my theft. She refused to show me any evidence at all. She simply came in, told me I was a thief, disregarded everything I said, offered me no recourse, and had me fired.
I asked her why I would risk my job for a box of hair color when I have a young child to support. I told her to ask anyone in either store I'd worked in if I'd ever commit such a crime. She ignored me, and when I wouldn't leave the store without being provided with proof of my crime, she called the police and had me escorted off the property. I was given a trespassing notice and told that I am not allowed on the property of ANY Walgreens in the nation. She lied to the police, said that I'd threatened to hit her and was breaking objects in the pharmacy.
When I called corporate, they also refused to provide me with the videotapes, and would not respond when I asked if it was legal for them to put theft on my record when they had no proof whatsoever. They said they would not discuss that issue with me.
I am now unemployed, and my son and I have lost our health insurance. I have also been humiliated in front of my friends and coworkers, first by being escorted out by police, and then, as if that weren't enough, loss prevention emailed every store in the state telling them that I was no longer allowed on any property of Walgreens, that I am potentially violent, and that local police are to be contacted should I come into any store.
Every employee I've spoken to (I am close to almost all of them) has backed me, and knows that this is bizarre and I was obviously 'framed.' I've already had several employees report to me that they've experience similar accusations, though theirs didn't end in termination. Several also knew individuals who WERE terminated for similar accusations that were also now proven. This is obviously a problem with Walgreens.
I, too, am seeking legal counsel and will fight this until the end. I would appreciate any help whatsoever - media attention, calls to the corporate office (phone number 1-847-940-2500) and the store which this took place in (listed above), letters, emails, legal assistance, and boycotts.