Unsigned: Stealing from work is sometimes accepted in our culture

A former bookstore employee is being charged with theft over $5,000 after $31,000 went missing from the bookstore safe in September 2014.

Though the alleged act is obviously wrong, this led us to put theft on a spectrum. Do we see some kinds of theft as lesser than others?

It seems to be a consensus that taking food, even when explicitly told not to, is still seen as mundane, compared to taking a tangible item like cash or office supplies.

By putting theft on a spectrum, we’re also weighing the consequences of our actions. Eating the leftover burger that’s just going to be thrown out at the fast food restaurant you work at, while punishable in some cases,  doesn’t seem like we’re taking anything from anyone, since it’s going to waste anyway.

Food, especially leftovers that are still good to be eaten, should come down to an understanding between the employer and the employee as to what is actually considered stealing.

It’s understandable if employers have to have a “no food” rule due to health concerns, but should an employee really be fired for stealing if they eat left over fries on the way to the bin, especially if they’re only endangering themselves?

Those stealing instances should come down to what’s really important — like the cash from the bookstore.

Taking cash is actually taking from the livelihood and business. It’s not like they were just going to toss out $31,000 cash, but food waste does add up to a monetary amount.

Taking food is still stealing and stealing is always illegal, but unused product shouldn’t go to waste either. Employers and employees should come to an agreement on how to better manage the food waste without stealing any product.

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