A former PetSmart employee says he was terminated for “theft of services” after he brought his dog to work on an overnight shift that he was doing as a favor to the store manager — and left the dog in the pet day care facilities. No other employee was working at the time, so he was supervising his own pet. Should this count as “theft?”
At 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, Favetta was asked to work a special overnight shift that night to prepare the store for a viewing by representatives for Martha Stewart’s company, which was considering adding its product lines to PetSmart. Favetta said yes.
“I brought my dog with me because I knew if I didn’t, he would have been home alone all day and all night until I returned home at 6 a.m. the next day,” Favetta said.
He did the shift, and Gizmo, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, spent the night in the empty store’s doggie day care facility. Favetta said he’d check in on Gizmo every 15 minutes or so, and then go back to work.’
Two weeks later, Favetta was asked to meet with his store and district managers, who requested a written account of his overnight shift. He complied. They reviewed it and fired him for “theft of service.”
“I was shocked,” Favetta said. “It makes me sick that because I brought my dog to work with me when the store was closed to do the company a favor, I was called a thief and terminated.”
They story has a happy ending — reporters shamed PetSmart into reviewing the case and they ultimately decided it really wasn’t worth firing the guy. They offered him his job back but he’d already found another one.
Favetta accepted his job back, but while he was unemployed, he had some feelers out for new positions. He was offered a job as a dog handler working for a company that uses animals to search for hazards, and he decided to take it rather than return to PetSmart.
What do you think? Is this theft?