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After Being Robbed at Gunpoint, Employer Required Bartender to Pay for Stolen Funds

Edward Parker is suing his employer for demanding that Parker repay funds stolen at gunpoint and then firing him. In December 2020, Parker was bartending at Lodge Hualapai, a Las Vegas bar, when a man entered the bar, pointed a gun at Parker, and demanded that Parker hand over the cash. Parker told The Washington Post that he believed the gunman was “dead serious about getting that money.” Parker claims the Lodge management previously instructed him to hand over the money during a robbery and then call the police, which he did. As the gunman took the cash out of the registers, he forced Parker to kneel down on the floor with his hands on his head. According to Parker’s recently filed lawsuit, the person stole nearly $4,000.

A few hours later, Parker met with the owner and a senior manager of Lodge Hualapai. Parker recounted the incident. In response, the owner and manager allegedly told Parker that he would have to repay what was stolen or be fired. Afraid of losing his job, Parker agreed to pay, and the Lodge withheld $300 per paycheck until it was repaid. Police arrested two suspects shortly after the robbery; there is no indication that Parker knew either of the individuals. After he finished paying off the money, Parker alleges the Lodge fired him. The Lodge management said they were letting him go because of a scheduling mix-up with Parker’s vacation.

Parker has filed a lawsuit against Lodge Hualapai to get that money back. He alleges the management coerced him into agreeing to repay the money stolen by the suspect. Parker’s lawyer told The Washington Post that he was convinced the Lodge’s owner intended to fire Parker all along but just want to recoup the money first. The attorney expressed his belief that the management’s conduct was illegal. The Lodge did not provide a statement to the press regarding the lawsuit.