Michael Walsh, a Walmart maintenance employee in Niskayuna, NY, was recently fired after he returned approximately $350.00 he found in the neighborhood market parking lot. Although most people would consider returning unclaimed money to be a noble act, apparently, the Walmart manager didn’t see it that way. In fact, Walsh’s decision to return the money actually led to his termination, but there’s reportedly one reason why.
According to Opposing Views, Michael Walsh actually took too long to return the funds. It has been reported that he had the money in his possession for approximately 30 minutes before handing it over to management.
“The only thing I did wrong was hesitate. I didn’t steal anything. They didn’t give me any warning. They just fired me.”
Needless to say, many people are scratching their heads and wondering why Walsh was fired from Walmart, but Walmart management claims his actions fall under the category of “gross misconduct,” which gave the Arkansas-headquartered company grounds to fire him. So how did the entire ordeal begin?
According to the Times Union, Walsh recounted the series of events that led to his termination. He was reportedly working in the Walmart parking lot when he noticed a $5 bill on the ground. He immediately picked up the bill and gave it to store management. But when he returned, to his shock and dismay he noticed a stack of $10 and $20 bills. He picked those bills up as well but didn’t immediately turn them over to management. He counted the money, put it in his pocket, and continued working. But when he re-entered the store, he noticed a frantic woman yelling at managers about money she’d lost.
“A woman was yelling at a manager, freaking out that she lost her money and I got nervous,” Walsh, who suffers from anxiety, told the Times Union. “I kind of froze and didn’t want any trouble.”
Instead of notifying Walmart management about the money he’d found in the parking lot, Michael Walsh proceeded to clean bathrooms. He reportedly waited approximately 30 minutes to turn the money in after finding it in the parking lot. Although he didn’t keep the money for personal gain, he paid the price for holding on to it as long as he did. Two days later, Walmart management informed told him that he’d been terminated because of “gross misconduct.” Walsh was asked to turn in his Walmart badge and discount card before leaving the store.
“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.”
During an interview with the Time Union, he shared his reaction to the daunting experience, revealing how he felt like a common criminal. Since his termination came without warning, he was definitely shocked.
“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.”
Although Michael Walsh has been terminated, he still insists he enjoyed his job. “I enjoyed my job, I was a good employee and always got to work on time,” he added.
Do you agree with Walmart management? Was Michael Walsh’s delay a valid reason for his termination? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]