Lululemon Defends Firing Workers For Calling the Cops On Thieves

Haika Mrema | June 8, 2023
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“It’s only merchandise,” Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said in an interview with CNBC regarding the firing of two employees who confronted thieves stealing from one of their stores.

Former employees Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers were fired from Lululemon after engaging with thieves who robbed a store location in Georgia. While filming the incident on camera, one of the individuals tells the criminals “to get out” and follows them out of the store. 

The two women then reported the crime to the Gwinnett Police Department, who tracked and charged the thieves with felony robbery charges, according to the New York Post

“We have a zero-tolerance policy that we train our educators on around engaging during a theft,” the CEO said. “It's only merchandise. At the end, they're trained to step back, let the theft occur, know that there is technology and there’s cameras, and we’re working with law enforcement.”

He continues by saying his employees “knowingly broke the policy” by intervening with the theft, which he says caused their termination. 

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“We train them to step back, it's about their safety,” McDonald said. This training, he says, is to prevent employees from getting “hurt” or ‘killed” from intervening when a robbery occurs.

“The policy is to protect them, but we have to stand behind the policy to enforce it,” he stated.  

It may seem like the policy exists to protect his employees, but at what cost? Not only is McDonald incentivizing more criminals to steal from his business by discouraging crime prevention, but he's also damaging his own company’s esteem. Lululemon has a warped idea of justice where those who confront crime are punished instead of the criminals themselves.

Ferguson and Rogers should be admired for doing their civil duty. Instead, the company they strove to protect stabbed them in the back. 

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