Lowe’s employee says she was fired for calling 911

Lowes (KSN File Photo)
Lowes (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Questions arise after a local Lowe’s employee says she was fired for calling 911 during a shoplifting incident.

The employee had worked for the store for almost 19 years and says she never knew about the shoplifting policy Lowe’s has in place.

“In the heat of the moment, you see something and you react to it,” stated Norma Haden, former Lowe’s employee.

That reaction was life changing for Haden.

This past Saturday she says a man ran out of the west Wichita Lowe’s with a chainsaw. Haden says she chased the man, and tried to grab the tool from him, and that’s when several other customers stepped in to help.

“They chased him out into the parking lot and they were trying to get the chainsaw back and get license tags, and they took off in vehicles and I stopped and that’s when I called 911,” stated Haden.

After police arrived, Haden said that’s when another employee told her that it’s against Lowe’s store policy to call 911 and pursue a shoplifter instead of telling a manager.

Haden has worked there for nearly 19 years, but said she didn’t know it was against policy.

KSN reached out to Lowes’ corporate office to find out what exactly the policy is regarding employees and shoplifting. They released this statement:

“Lowe’s works with law enforcement to prosecute shoplifters to the fullest extent the law allows. We have specific procedures to guide employees as they handle suspected shoplifting incidents. Those policies are in place, first and foremost, to protect the safety of employees and customers. Employees are trained on these procedures and instructed that their safety and the safety of other employees and customers, takes priority, and they are subject to disciplinary action if they circumvent these procedures, potentially putting themselves or others in harm’s way. We’re continuing to investigate this incident.”

For Haden, it leaves her frustrated as she is now is looking for new work.

“It’s more of just being heartbroken,” she said.

Norma’s husband took to Facebook with his frustrations the post has now been shared almost 3,000 times.

As for the policy at the west Wichita Lowe’s, Norma says the HR manager told her, they will now make sure to discuss the shoplifting policy with all employees to ensure everyone knows the policy.