Steps to Address Employee Theft

There are many forms of employee theft. Some of which include theft by stealing tangible items (money, products or supplies), confidential information (customer lists, formulas), or time (falsifying time records). All the above have become all-too-familiar for employers. Below are 3 steps you can take to reduce employee theft:

  1. Surveillance
    • Install video cameras in areas that you think might be susceptible to theft.
    • Check the laws in your state for limitations on where you can have video surveillance.
    • Do not place cameras in obvious places where employees expect to have legitimate privacy (i.e. restrooms, changing areas or locker rooms).
      • Be sure to notify your employees of any new surveillance installations.
  2. Timecard Audits
    • Regularly audit employee timecards, reviewing for discrepancies that may indicate falsified time.
  3. Protect Confidential Information
    • Develop company policies and procedures to protect confidential information
      • Put in place a Confidentiality & Trade Secrets Policy
    • Remove any administrative access that employees may have on their computer.
    • Prohibit the copying of company files to anything they can take home with them.

If you suspect an employee of stealing, remember the following:

  1. Investigate
    • Conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the suspected theft and carefully document the results.
  2. Handling Termination
    • Consider how you communicate the reason for termination to the employee.
    • Tell the employee that the reason for termination is because of policy violations, lack of trust, or loss of confidence, instead of telling the employee that he/she is being terminated because of theft.
  3. Withholding Pay
    • Under no circumstances should an employer withhold the value of the lost property from the employee’s pay. Instead, consult with an HR Professional (aka HR Strategies) to determine the options available to you to recoup lost property.

If you have any questions, or would like HR Strategies to help you put a Confidentiality & Trade Secrets Policy in place, please call your HR Consultant at 770-339-0000, option 3.

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About HR Strategies

HR Strategies is a private human resource management firm created to enable small business owners to focus on their core competencies, rather than the tedium of running payroll, providing employee benefits, or the many other facets of human resource administration. We allow business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resource responsibilities.

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