Do I have to pay a civil penalty?

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Do I have to pay a civil penalty?

I was fired from my previous job for stealing expired product. As a result, I signed a statement clarifying what I took, as well as the dollar value, and agreed to pay that value ($204). Since then, I received a letter from their law offices out of state, saying that I owe $750. The other $546 is for a civil penalty. I never agreed to pay this. Upon speaking with someone at the number they provided, I was informed that I didn’t have to pay it, but that they would recommend a lawsuit if I did not. I have no problem with paying the $204 I agreed to but this civil penalty seems ridiculous.

Asked on February 11, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You are under no obligation legally to pay the $546 as the civil penalty for the items taken from your previous job. However, if you pay the $546 amount you would be assured that you would not be sued in a civil action as to what transpired where you admit you took improperly from your employer.

If you do not pay the $546 demanded, you might get sued or you might not get sued for a set sum by your former employer. It is your call if you want to pay the amount demanded and buy "peace" or run the risk that you could be sued with associated costs of money and your time.


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