U.S. Army Veteran Jim Tinney was recently fired from his job at Home Depot after two weeks of reviewing the incident that propelled his termination. The 70-year-old was working a normal shift when he saw three men attempting to steal tool sets.
The three men carried the tool sets to the checkout area, where Tinney said they seemed “nervous”. Then, one of them yelled “Let’s go!” and they all started running.
When he saw thousands of dollars worth of equipment being taken from the store, Tinney reacted. He started running after them and threw a paint roller extension at one of their feet to try to stop them. He said he was just trying to do the right thing because, "In the Army, they train you to do things like that."
The thieves still got away, however. Tinney’s reaction did not prevent the thieves from stealing, but it did prevent him from keeping his job.
Home Depot has a reportedly strict company policy toward employees and crime. This was a policy that Tinney admitted he had learned about during his training period at the store.
Stephen Holmes, Home Depot company spokesman, said, “We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters. 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.”
Holmes also said that in the week prior to the incident, there had been two shoplifters with guns at the stores. Because of this, he was insistent that their rule is enforced.
While there have been other instances of the Home Depot strictly following this policy, there have been cases where it did not result in termination of an employee. An Oregon employee tried to stop what he thought was a child abduction which ended up being a case of domestic abuse. The employee was going to be fired in light of the policy, but after the story reached a large audience, Home Depot stopped the termination.
Now Tinney is wondering why the same could not be considered in his case. He said, “I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me. But terminate me? That’s pretty strong.”
The Veteran said, “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers, helping figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.” What do you think about this termination? Is it justified because of the company policy? Should they have given Tinney a second chance? Let us know what you think on Facebook!