Cumberland Farms questioned, fired thousands, records show

September 18, 1990|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHILADELPHIA -- More than 30,000 employees of Cumberland Farms convenience stores have been fired after being called in for questioning by company officials for alleged theft, according to company records.

The records show that during a 14-year period the company attempted to question 30,903 cashiers as part of a systematic effort to recover inventory losses by demanding money from employees accused of theft.

Virtually all of the employees questioned were fired. The others refused to submit to the interrogation and quit, according to interviews with former employees.

Fourteen former Cumberland Farms cashiers have filed a federal lawsuit against the company, saying that they were falsely accused by company security officials of stealing and then were threatened, intimidated and coerced into signing confessions. The company staunchly denies the allegations.

In recent months, the Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that 275 former Cumberland Farms employees said they were falsely accused of theft by company security officials.

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