What To Do When You Suspect An Employee Of Theft
You like to think that you have a thorough verification process in place for screening employees. From background checks to past employment reviews, you screen your employers to ensure they are capable and trustworthy. However, this process is not always foolproof. Employees may slip through the cracks or completely change once on-boarded. No matter the case, when you suspect an employee of theft, it's important that you know what to do.
Remember The Law
A hunch should never be ignored, but when you think about it from a legal standpoint, a hunch is merely anecdotal. Unfortunately, feelings or intuition won't hold up in court. If you believe an employee is stealing from you, be careful about accusing them.
If you accuse someone and they are in fact not guilty, you leave the door open for them to retaliate against you in the form of a costly lawsuit. Even if they are guilty, if you're unable to prove it, you're still at a loss because the burden of proof rest on you. Just like a prosecutor would do, it's your responsibility to collect evidence so that when you make this accusatory claim, you have the evidence to back it up.
Hire A Professional
When it comes to collecting evidence, it's a good idea to look outside the four walls of your business. Consider speaking with a professional, such as a digital forensics specialist at a company like Epps Forensic Consulting PLLC. From the smartphones you give your employees to the desktop computers in their offices, remember that all this equipment is yours and can be confiscated at any time.
A digital forensics professional can comb through these devices and retrieve contact logs, visited web pages, documents, and a host of other files, even if they have been deleted. With this level of recovery, you may be able to find exactly the information you need to prove what you suspect the employee is guilty of.
Keep The Circle Small
When you suspect this scenario, keep communication on a need-to-know basis. This should not be break-room chatter. First, the more people that know, the more likely the information is to get back to the individual, giving them a greater opportunity to cover their tracks.
If you are the business owner, you may not need to share this information with anyone. If you are a supervisor, you can share this information with a department head and someone from human resources, but this information should not travel any farther than this.
If you suspect an employee of theft, you want to react quickly, but you also want to react smartly. Make sure you are thinking about the protection of your business when moving forward.