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Boss Sparks Family Drama After Firing Nephew For Falsely Accusing A Coworker Of Stealing

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Working alongside family members can easily become a dicey situation. For one guy on Reddit, it led to drama among his whole family when he had to fire his nephew for falsely accusing another employee of stealing on the job.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by throwawayfirednephew on the site, wasn’t sure about how he’d handled the drama. So he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

He asked:

“AITA for firing my nephew after he lied about another worker stealing?”

He explained:

“I run a small business and for over a year and a half I’ve been employing ‘Brian’ (not his real name). He’s a decent worker. Comes in everyday for 1 or 2 hrs to sweep, mop, clean the windows, keep the front tidy and take out the trash.”

“2 months ago my sister asked me if I could offer my nephew ‘Henry’ (19m[ale]) a job because they are going through some financial troubles and need his help. Gave him a full-time job where he’s basically like my receptionist. Answering the phone, helping me organize papers and such.”

“The reason Henry knows about Brian is because I talked about him to my family once. Brian used to sleep right outside by the entrance every night or sometimes I’d find him digging in our dumpster around the back. So I decided to offer him some work and he accepted.”

“Since Henry started he’s had some attitude with Brian when he comes in. Twice I came back after meeting clients, Henry was making Brian unload supplies that were dropped off. Saying that I told him to have Brian do that. They were arguing because Brian said he couldn’t do it. I was already told by him when he first started coming in that he can’t do heavy lifting because of back problems he suffers from so I got mad at my nephew over that.”

“I tried to chalk that up to my nephew not really knowing much since he’s new. Last week Henry told me he saw Brian going to the back office and going through everyone’s things. Then supposedly he also went into my office.”

“I didn’t believe him because only a few people have keys to my office, my nephew being one of them because sometimes he needs to leave papers on my desk when I’m not there. Brian doesn’t have keys for any of that because he only needs to get the cleaning supplies from the closet. Henry said he left his keys out front when Brian was there when he went to answer the phone and now he can’t find them. He kept saying I should fire him.”

“One look at the security cams proved he lied about the whole thing. The fact that he lied about it and also kept suggesting Brian be fired for something Henry knew he didn’t do upset me very much. Wasn’t thinking at the moment because I was a little overwhelmed with anger and fired him there.”

“You can guess how my family took that. Firing my own nephew. When according to them he didn’t do anything wrong. He suspected of the man and thought he was going the right thing coming to me.”

“My sister said Henry just misplaced his keys and ‘rightfully’ assumed Brian stole them and says he’s never felt comfortable anytime he came to clean.”

“Even though Henry won’t give me actual reasons why he was uncomfortable around Brian other than believing he would steal something. Brian has never done anything like that before. Everyone thinks I’m TA for firing/refusing to rehire him over this because of what their family’s going through and It’s getting to me. To clear the air for me, AITA?”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories.

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

As you might expect, they were pretty much all in agreement that OP was not the a**hole in this case.

“NTA, your nephew was kicking a man ho was already down. How you treat people in need says a lot about your personality. Your nephew can’t be trusted in small things and not in big things.”

“If you hadn’t fired your nephew for this, it would have been something else. Your family is angry because they see Brian as lesser than themselves, not worth getting upset over. They’re wrong. He is valuable and deserving and you did him a great kindness.” –likeahike

“Henry can get a job somewhere else. If OP fired Brian, he likely wouldn’t get another chance anytime soon, if ever. Henry probably knew this, didn’t care, and was just uncomfortable being confronted with the reality that homeless people who have done nothing wrong* exist. Good riddance. NTA OP.”

“*just a disclaimer that I don’t think people should be homeless, no matter what they may have done with their lives.” –beansbeans716

“This. NTA Henry can’t give you reasons for being uncomfortable around Brian because there aren’t any. Henry wants to assert power over others (by making Brian unload the truck) and by trying to influence you to fire Brian. Your family will, of course, believe Henry because ‘Henry isn’t like that. He doesn’t lie for no reason.'”

“Henry is a shifty weasel and you were right to get rid of him even though family picnics may be weird for a while.” –batkc

“NTA”

“Good for you being a decent employer and looking out for your worker. I’m sickened by your sister’s comment “rightfully assumed” girl shut the hell up. Your nephew’s lie was that he witnessed it happening first hand, it all unravels the second the security cameras show otherwise.”

“You did the right thing, if he was willing to power trip and lie about an employee who has done literally nothing wrong then who’s to say he wouldn’t lie about robbing you himself.” –antoniobolonio

“NTA”

“‘He ‘rightfully’ assumed Brian stole them’ on what planet? He quite literally and provably wrongly accused Brian.”

“I’m getting strong classist, (or some other -ist) vibes from your family, why else would they be targeting Brian?”

“You were absolutely right to fire Henry for making false accusations to try to get someone else fired.” –hey-demons-its-me-ya

“NTA.”

“Your nephew overstepped his bounds regarding your other employee, lied to you (his employer) when you were doing him a favor, and made a blatantly false accusation against that other employee (someone you are clearly trying to help). You cannot trust him. Firing him was the right thing to do.” –horshack_test

“NTA. Your family are enablers. Nothing is worse than a liar. He didn’t even have a reason. He (your nephew) is going to have allot of problems in the adult world where his family can’t protect him.” –deemossy

“NTA The nephew”

“1.) overstepped his authority by trying to order another employee to do something. This is further aggravated by the fact that the task was something the other employee was physically incapable of performing.”

“2.) Lost an important key and admitted it was left out in plain sight. That key grants access to a lot of confidential info. That is a serious lapse on the nephews part.”

“3.) Made unfounded accusations against another employee.” –Kilkegard

“NTA. If anything you’re a very good person for having Brian’s back considering how rare that probably is for him. Your family sucks super hard. Hire him back and then fire him again for being such a shit to someone down on his luck for no reason.” –Pretty_Yellow_9601

“You did the right thing. When you said he had someone doing work claiming you had said to have them do it – that’s actually a big red flag. I’ve seen that a lot because I live in Chicago where everyone is stupid and lazy and they pull shit like that.”

“Always some low life move, that. The rest all just makes sense after that. His family is blind to his bullshit. You need to be real and firm and just say ‘he’s a liar and a thief so I fired him; maybe if you had ever made him deal with consequences he’d be better.'” –tipareth1978

“They should be worried about how you’re taking it. You gave this kid a job and in return he first tries to dump his work on someone else, then he loses the keys to the office, and finally he lies to try to pin the blame on a coworker.”

“Your nephew needs to learn some professionalism or this won’t be the last time he’s fired. NTA.”

“And random thought: Were the keys ever found? Because if not, I bet they’re in Henry’s pocket and you might want to get your locks changed.” –Content-Army2384

“NTA stick to your guns. Fair play for giving Brian a chance. It doesn’t sound like he’s let you down yet. Your nephew and family on the other hand, no disrespect intended, but they sound entitled.” –Both-Flow-7383

Hopefully OP and his family members can come to an understanding about this.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.