A former gas-station manager lost his job after mistakenly charging $0.69 a gallon for gas.
The mistake cost the company $20,000, he said. His family has raised over $24,000 to pay it back.
The company declined to accept the funds, saying that the GoFundMe was misleading.
A gas-station manager who raised funds to pay back his former employer after mistakenly setting a discounted gas price said the company has declined to accept the money.
John Szczecina lost his job after charging $0.69 a gallon on premium gas at a Shell gas station in Rancho Cordova, California. The gas station reportedly lost $20,000 after hundreds of cars took advantage of the low price.
To repay the station owners, Szczecina's sister — Paula Jackson — started a GoFundMe that raised more than $24,000.
"He doesn't have to pay it back," Jackson told The Washington Post. "But just the fact that he is doing it and wants to do it shows a lot of character and honesty and responsibility, and I'm really proud of him for that."
Szczecina told ABC30 he was worried about getting sued by the station owners. Craig Simmermon, a business attorney, told CBS Sacramento that Szczecina would be protected from liability from a mistake made while performing his normal job duties.
"The only way he would be responsible outside of a written agreement is if he was acting outside the scope of his employment," Simmermon told CBS Sacramento. "For instance, if his boss said, 'Whatever you do, don't ever set the price on that gas pump,' and then he did."
The company that owns the station said in a letter to Szczecina that they "will not accept" the funds raised by Szczecina's family and friends.
"To be clear, at no time has the Company told you that it intends to seek payment from you to reimburse that Company's losses. Nor does the Company intend to take any legal action against you in connection with the incorrect fuel pricing incident. The Company does not want the money raised and will not accept it," the letter reads, the local-news outlet KCRA3 reported.
The company also said in the letter that the fundraiser should be shut down with the money returned to donors.
"It is the Company's view that the people who have donated to your GoFundMe fundraising campaign have been misled. The GoFundMe page should be shut down and the people who donated to you should have their money returned to them."
The company also offered an alternative for Szczecina to donate the money to two charitable organizations it supports.
GoFundMe told KCRA that the funds would have to be refunded if they are not accepted by the company.
"If the gas station company (the final recipient of the funds) does refuse the funds, we will require the organizer to post a clear update to keep donors informed," the outlet reported.
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