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<< In short, I wouldn't pay the guy if I had convincing evidence of the theft.

Er... SP, it was the sub-contractor's employee who stole, not the sub-contractor. So, in my mind, the OP is obligated to pay the sub-contractor for work done. >>

Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is probably just as responsible for the thefts as the employee who did them, as far as damages go.

<< Since the OP can prove only $300 of theft that would be the limit of damages and I doubt the OP has the time to go to small claims court to get it.

Theft is a tort --- a legal wrong. Prove that someone stole from you in civil court and a judge might well award you punitive damages to punish the wrong, and in this case criminal act.

A contractor who sued you to pay a bill for services that involved theft would be in a poor position in court, I would suppose.

Did he fire the employee after the incident? If so, I imagine he would have a tough time coming up with a witness and a defense. If he didn't fire the employee and the theft was proved, a judge might take a very dim view of an employer who would again foist such an employee upon the public as an employee.

The real issue in my view would be to be sure you have the evidence in hand to prove the theft. If you do, I think refusing to pay the bill, or to make only a partial payment might well be a reasonable thing to do.

Seattle Pioneer
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