Employee Restitution

When employees steal, the results can be devastating to the company’s bottom line. Restitution is the repayment of actual losses sustained by the company as a result of the employee’s (or other’s) act of unlawfully converting company property or assets to the employee’s use. If your company has been financially damaged by an employee’s theft, it may be entitled to full recovery of its actual losses and it also may be entitled to statutory civil damages (“civil recovery”).

Making restitution is the act of restoring an injured party to the position the party was in before the injury occurred. In the retail world, restitution is paid when merchandise or cash is not recovered or merchandise is not recovered in merchantable condition as a result of theft and/or dishonest activity.

The National Retail Security Survey reported that retailers lost $34.5 billion dollars in 2011 due to various forms of theft. Of these losses, it is estimated that over $15 billion was directly attributed to employee theft. [i] During a recent survey conducted by Jack Hayes, it was reported that one out of every 40 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2012. It is estimated that dishonest employees steal approximately 5.5 times more than the amount stolen by shoplifters. [ii]

While part of the purpose for the civil recovery statutes is to compensate the retailer for the specific act of theft and allow for recovery of restitution, the statutes often also have a general deterrent purpose and allow for additional civil damages on top of or apart from any restitution that may be owed by the employee.

The Law Offices of Palmer, Reifler & Associates has successfully represented its clients in matters related to employee restitution for over 20 years. As a law firm, we offer many advantages and protections that standard civil recovery “companies” cannot provide. We invite you to contact our law offices at (866) 875-6565 to learn more about employee restitution and how your company can combat theft and begin to recover the losses resulting from theft.


[i] National Retail Federation. The National Retail Security Survey. June 2012.
[ii] Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. 25th Annual Retail Theft Survey. June 2013.