Goodwill is a charitable organization that sells donated goods in thrift stores to raise money for its job-training and employment programs. So it’s an organization that helps people. Just not the people who shop in its stores. That’s what a teeenage cashier learned recently when he gave some broke customers off-the-books discounts, and got arrested on felony charges (and fired) for his trouble. Update: The store decided not to pursue the charges.
The core problem here is that no one told the cashier that he could give people items for half off whenever he felt like it, but no one told him he couldn’t, either. Usually this doesn’t have to be spelled out when someone starts a retail job. When people in need of clothing with only a few dollars on their back wandered in to the store, he would sell them an item for those few dollars they had.
“Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it,” he said. Yes, but they’re not a philanthropy that provides free or discounted clothes to people: they’re a store that sells used stuff to raise money for other projects.
As far as Goodwill is concerned, unauthorized discounts are the same as stealing. “Our stores are not around to give a hand out, they’re around to give people a hand up by providing funding,” a spokeswoman told TV station WBBS.
We have determined that the individual’s actions we not for personal gain, but rather for the benefit of others. Because this is a violation of our policy we recognize that the former employee’s termination is an appropriate action but we are not pursuing criminal charges.