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Discounted coffee leads to job losses

POLSON — Discounted Starbucks coffee prices apparently led to employees being fired or asked to resign at Safeway. Rumor in Polson has the number of employees at 24 while Sarah Osborne, Safeway public and government affairs director, said only three employees were terminated in Polson. 

Employees report a loss-prevention management team from Safeway corporate headquarters visited the Polson store last week and allegedly found employee violations of Safeway policy over discounted coffee purchases. According to Osborne, employees should pay full price for their coffee, and then refills are 50 cents for the rest of their shift.

Eric Rensvold, a pharmacist at the Polson Safeway, was given the option of resigning or possibly being terminated when the loss prevention management team finished its investigation. He tendered his resignation and has been interviewing for different jobs. 

To the best of his knowledge, Rensvold said he believed discounted coffee prices were the reason the other employees were fired or resigned.

Osborne said the terminated employees admitted they sold product for free or discounted prices, and they knew it was against company policy to sell discounted items. 

The loss-prevention management team typically does the investigation, Osborne said, and explained that employees may have been suspended pending the completion of the investigation. She could not comment on whether or not employees were offered a choice of resignation or possible termination when the investigation was finished.

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