Employing members of your own family can often come with its own unique challenges.
But what are the appropriate steps to take when your kin commits a work-related crime?
Redditor E11451913 recently sparked some family drama after punishing his son for stealing from the company, so he turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” to figure out if his actions were just, asking:
“AITA: For firing my son?”
The original poster (OP) explained what went down.
“Throwaway because I don’t want this seen on my main account.”
“I’ll get straight to the issue. My (M[ale] 43) 17-year-old son Adam has been trying to become independent and preparing to move to college but was struggling to find a job.”
“I own a private warehouse as a side job to earn a living. My wife suggested I hire my son to work at the warehouse.”
“Moving boxes, bringing workers lunch, helping with cleaning that kind of stuff. She said it is for both of our benefits since he couldn’t find a job and we needed to hire someone new.”
“I agreed and Adam was so happy and excited to start working. We agreed on the salary and work hours so he still has time to study and practice.”
“The first couple of weeks were going fine. That is until one day.”
“The workers were moving boxes (computers) into the warehouse. The client wanted them to be stored for a few days and we already arranged before they arrived. It was all written down including the number of computers we stored.”
“In the evening while I was checking I noticed there was one computer missing. I gathered all workers except for Adam and they had no idea and thought there was a mistake.”
“I brought it up at home and Adam told me that he saw one of the workers putting a box in the garage to take home with him. I was confused since he couldn’t specify which worker it was.”
“He eventually gave me a name. And I went to talk to the worker. He denied it and I ended up giving him X time to bring back the box and then I’d discuss why he did what he did.”
“The worker is a single dad with 3 kids I’ve known him for a while and I wanted to give him a chance.”
“The next day I was busy (my daughter was in the hospital) and I got back to the warehouse at 8pm and it occurred to me to check the cameras, what I saw was Adam putting a box in the back of his friend’s car and then the car left.”
“I knew his friend and knew Adam stole the computer.”
“I went home and I confronted him. My wife sided with him when he denied it and after arguing for hours I fired him and told him he was lucky I didn’t call the police.”
“This was my responsibility, the client entrusted me with his computers and Adam stole on the Job. Adam started crying.”
“My wife said I was wrong for firing him. That it was extreme and I should’ve just took from his salary. She refused to drop it and tried to convince me to hire him again but I refused.”
“I apologized to my worker and I told him if there’s anyone he knows who needs this job I’ll be more than happy to hire them. He brought his brother and he started working with us right away.”
“Now my family calling me an a**hole for hiring an ‘outsider’ and not my son.”
He later added a bit more information, saying:
“The box was being kept at his friend’s place.”
“His friend is such a disrespectful a**hole I won’t be surprised if he was the one who came up with the idea. However it was Adam who took it and so he needed to be fired. This is not okay nor is it acceptable.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most agreed that the OP was NTA for firing his son, but they weren’t necessarily on board with how he handled everything else.
“This is a serious offense and if this happened with another boss he might be sitting at a police office now.”
“You’re a good boss.”
“I suggest showing your wife the video if she’s taking his side.”—Kay_Elle
“NTA he stole from his place of employment. And lied about it. And tried to get an innocent employee in trouble for it.”
“If I had done that I’d f**king expect to get fired.”—rollapoid
“NTA and it sounds like your wife is enabling your son”—Joylar7
“NTA in this instance, but your family is terrible.”
“Adam happily threw someone he viewed as ‘a worker’ and not a single father of 3 under the bus for his crime.”
“Turn your son in to the cops. He is going to hurt more people if you don’t.”
“I would have voted ESH, but we’re talking about the one instance and not your parenting in general. It’s unlikely, however, that you are completely blameless for your son’s behavior.”
“Your family sounds awful, and you had a hand in creating that.”—Check3_4
“100% agree with you.”
“IMO, it doesn’t matter if he’s his son, he’s his employee and committed theft, that’s a crime and should be reported to the authorities.”—tallpotato17
But several people weren’t ready to let the OP off the hook quite so easily.
“I also agree but I would say ESH.”
“OP seems to be on the right track with punishing his son by firing him but what kind of businessman doesn’t check his cameras first before going after an honest worker who happens to be a single father to 3 children.”
“If it weren’t for those cameras there might have been an innocent family on the streets because your son stole a computer.”
“The reason OP is sh*tty is although he fired his son, he seems to not want to place the blame on him and is putting the majority (if not all) the blame on the son’s friend.”
“The son’s friend is not a mind reader and didn’t telepathically find out you had computers in the warehouse. Your son had to tell him that and get everything set up first.”
“My bet is the son is asking his friend to hold onto the computer until you forget about it and then pretend he bought one in the future. He was literally going for the perfect crime and if it wasn’t for that meddling camera he would’ve gotten away with it too (zoinks, Scoobs).”
“And even with video evidence OP is still blaming the son’s friend??? You’re setting up your son to be a failure in life if you don’t hold him accountable for his actions.”
“If you’re going to hire him as an employee, have him face consequences as an employee. He doesn’t get to switch to being your employee and then bring your son when it’s convenient. That’s a slap in the face to your loyal employees.”
“ESH – He has video cameras in his warehouse but yet he chose not to look at them first and believe his son. That would be the first thing any normal person would look at.”—that_was_me_ama
It’s yet to been seen whether or not the OP’s son will learn anything from his actions.
But hopefully the OP will handle any similar situations in the future with more care in regards to his other employees before jumping to any conclusions.