Archive for the ‘Employee Theft’ Category

Workplace Investigations: Part 2 of 3: General Searches

October 1st, 2013

Workplace SearchesLast week we discussed workplace investigations regarding computer files and communication, and as you learned, the right to search most often lies with the employer. After all, it is your equipment and your office the employee is utilizing. However, general searches are a bit more complex.

The need to search someone’s personal belongings may arise for a number of reasons – perhaps there’s a suspicion of employee substance abuse…or there’s been some type of vandalism committed during today’s lunch break. Or, in a much more serious situation, perhaps there’s been a threat made against others and there’s reason to believe someone is planning to harm someone else or themselves.

Under OSHA, employers must investigate problems and prevent future similar problems from occurring, to the best of their ability. In regards to the prevention of workplace violence, employers have a duty to investigate threats and prevent acts of violence from occurring within the workplace. However, we’d like to stress that in violent situations or threatening situations, local law enforcement should be contacted before attempting to handle on your own as the employer.

So, what about a less serious search – for example – looking in an employee’s briefcase or purse for something? In short, this is not recommended. In general, employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy surrounding their own personal items…. unless of course the employee was told otherwise before accepting a job at your Company.

The key in protecting yourself as the employer in general searchers is to have a good search policy in place BEFOREHAND. If you have made it well known (this includes outlining everything in writing within your employee handbook or company policy) that the entire workplace is subject to search at any time, you have the right to search personal areas when there’s reasonable cause. This includes locked desk drawers or lockers.

A very good search policy will also include personal items that are brought on to the worksite including purses, briefcases, containers, and even cars parked on company property!

Did you know that most PEOs can help you establish your own search policies in addition to employee handbooks and company policies?  Call 877-636-9525 to find the best Professional Employer Organization for you. But, if you are in immediate need of a workplace investigation at this time, it is recommended you contact an employment law professional before proceeding.

Join us next week as we dive further into workplace investigations with employee drug testing.

Employee Theft in the Workplace – How a PEO Can Help

May 7th, 2012

According to reports issued by the National Retail Security Survey within the past two years, retailers in the United States lose more inventory to their own employees than they do shoplifters! As a business owner, it’s a sad reality to swallow; employee theft accounted for about 45% of retail losses in 2010. theft at work

While many retailers and businesses may have advanced technology and/or tactics to detect theft in the workplace, gaining control of the situation may not be as easy as you’d think. Fortunately, for businesses engaged in a co-employment arrangement or employee leasing solution, a PEO can help when it comes to employee theft.  How?

Prevention:

  • PEOs offer recruiting assistance, to make sure the right employee is hired and stays put. This assistance will most often include criminal background checks and the use of electronic database information that helps connect the dots if there are multiple aliases out there.
  • Employee drug testing will ensure that your existing employees are responsible and clean, which limits security and/or safety risks within your place of employment.
  • Best practices: A trusted and knowledgeable PEO will offer guidance on employment regulations, compliance and termination requirements. When you work with a PEO, you have access to HR experts!

Termination:

  • Even if you have proof that an employee has stolen from you, there are numerous ways a termination could go wrong. By partnering with a PEO, the termination process becomes a bit easier. Through a co-employment arrangement, PEOs take care of any legal issues, and through best practices, a PEO can save you the stress of a possible lawsuit.

For more information on the many benefits of PEOs, call PEO Advantage at 877-636-9525 or contact us today.