This is the import of the case of California Clothing, Inc. vs Shirley Quiñones (G.R. No. 175822, 23 October 2013).
In this case, the employees of a clothing store suspected that a customer did not pay for the item (a pair of jeans) she brought out of the store. An employee then confronted the customer but the customer was able to present to the employee a receipt corresponding the item.
It should have ended right then and there but the employee who was not yet convinced wrote a letter to the employer of the customer. The Guess employee informed the employer of the customer that she stole from their store.
The Supreme Court said that although the employee had the right to confront the customer whom she suspected of shoplifting, she overstepped when she involved the customer’s employer who has no concern over the matter. The letter she gave to the employer destroyed the customer’s reputation. Such an act is already considered as an abusive exercise of a right. Due to the abuse, the customer suffered public humiliation. The concerned employee was directed to pay her moral damages amounting to Php50,000.00 plus litigation expenses. The store was also directed to shoulder the damages together with the employee.
The lesson here is to always act with justice. Temper your zealousness in appropriate instances, else you may end up abusing your rights which may prejudice others.