Walmart Employee Says He Was Fired For Waiting 30 Minutes To Turn In $350 He Found In Parking Lot

A maintenance employee for Walmart thought he was doing the right thing by handing over a stack of bills totaling $350 that he found discarded in the store’s parking lot. But instead of being thanked for his honesty, the man says he was fired because he waited 30 minutes before handing over the cash. 

The Albany Times Union reports that the employee, who had worked full-time at different Walmart stores in the area for about 18 years, was fired for “gross misconduct” two days after he turned in the $350 in cash.

“The only thing I did wrong was hesitate,” the 45-year-old man says. “I didn’t steal anything. They didn’t give me any warning. They just fired me.”

According to the man, on Nov. 6 he was picking up garbage and collecting stray shopping carts in the Walmart Neighborhood Market’s parking lot when he found $5. He says he immediately went inside and turned the bill over to a manager.

After returning outside to continue his duties, the man found a small stack of $20 and $10 bills. The cash wasn’t in an envelope and didn’t contain any identification.

The worker says he completed the task he was doing, counted the bills – totaling $350 – and went back inside the store.

He says he was about to turn over the money when he heard a customer “yelling at a manager, freaking out that she lost her money.”

The man, who says he has anxiety issues, got nervous and “kind of froze and didn’t want any trouble.”

Instead of interrupting the dispute, he says he simply went back to work and handed over the cash about 30 minutes after finding it.

Two days later, the man was called into a manager’s office and shown a time-stamped tape that confirmed 30 minutes had passed between finding the cash and turning it in.

“They didn’t let me explain and said they knew what happened. They told me how it happened in a way they wanted it to go,” he said.

He was told to sign a statement, but was not given a copy, the Times Union reports. He was then told to turn in his badge and his employee 10% discount card and that he was being fired for “gross misconduct.”

A manager at the store told the Times Union she could not comment on the man’s firing and a spokesperson for Walmart had no comment.

The man says that in all his years with the company, he was never given a handbook of employee rules or policies about items found in the parking lot.

“I got treated like a common criminal,” he tells the Time Union. “I got scared and didn’t go about returning the money in the right way. I told them I was sorry. I thought they would have given me a warning or suspended me. Instead, they just fired me.”

Wal-Mart worker fired after 18 years for turning in $350 cash found in Niskayuna store parking lot too slowly [Albany Times Union]