“I believe I was one of the highest-regarded employees there,” Roger Kline told the Billings Gazette, in regards to his employment with Best Buy.
The then 51-year-old held a sales job in the technology retail chain’s location in Billings, Montana, for three years, until he tried to be a hero. As a thief was running out of the store with two laptop computers, Kline ran toward the perpetrator and threw him to the ground. His manager approached the scene and told Kline to let the man go, as intervening in such situations was against company policy.
The perpetrator, identified as 45-year-old Brent Carter Latendresse, was later arrested. But, three weeks later, Kline was fired.
“Someone steals from you, you stop them,” Kline said. “That’s the way I was brought up. I felt like the guy was stealing from me, not just the company. I guess I took it a little personal when I saw the guy run out of the store with two computers.”
Kline’s story is not the only reported example of a Best Buy employee losing their job over intervening with a crime. In fact, this particular instance occurred on March 28, 2011, but the most recent occurrence of a similar circumstance happened in late January 2019 when a Best Buy security guard stopped a wanted felon who was spotted in a Roseville, California, location.
The security guard, known as Tyler, was thanked by local law enforcement for his assistance, yet the heroic act cost him his job after several months of employment by violating the company’s policy. The incident, like Kline’s story, raised questions of how this policy is a violation of moral standards.
What do you think? Should Best Buy reconsider a policy that punishes good people and empowers criminals, or should employees know to follow the rules, whatever the cost? Let us know in the comments below!