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Thread: Advice on Employee and Theft

  1. #11
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    So she was fired for suspicion of stealing from a former employer, left her previous second job under of cloud of suspicion for stealing, is rumored to be stealing from her new second job, and you guys are watching her like a hawk....

    If there is no issue with her actual work output -- she is performing her job with appropriate behavior and decorum, etcetera...., no concerns have been reported by clients, and there is no evidence that she has stolen anything from you (yet), then I am not sure what the grounds would be for terminating her employment.

    If on the other hand your clients are aware of and concerned about the rumors surrounding this employee, or if there were some obvious bad behavior in her performance of her job, or if you had evidence of her stealing, then....

  2. #12

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    If you don't have any evidence against her, but are still uncomfortable having her around maybe you can find her a job somewhere else. That's what I'd do for any of my employees. In fact, I have actually done that for some good employees who couldn't continue working for me for whatever personal reasons.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tallen View Post
    So she was fired for suspicion of stealing from a former employer, left her previous second job under of cloud of suspicion for stealing, is rumored to be stealing from her new second job, and you guys are watching her like a hawk....

    If there is no issue with her actual work output -- she is performing her job with appropriate behavior and decorum, etcetera...., no concerns have been reported by clients, and there is no evidence that she has stolen anything from you (yet), then I am not sure what the grounds would be for terminating her employment.

    If on the other hand your clients are aware of and concerned about the rumors surrounding this employee, or if there were some obvious bad behavior in her performance of her job, or if you had evidence of her stealing, then....

    She has become an increasingly poor worker. Also, and most alarmingly, we have been notified by several parents of said rumors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeekygreens View Post
    The employee's termination from her previous employment (restaurant) has been confirmed as being for suspicion of stealing from the cash drawer. My wife asked her about this directly, to which the employee confessed the termination cause, but denied said allegations.
    Discrepancies like these are common and you should be able to use the actions of the previous employer to come up with a reasonable idea of the situation. Now, I have no doubt that if she was caught actually taking money out of the cash drawer, she would have been arrested... Period. However, the fact that there was only suspicion leads me to believe her drawer was simply short on money, which can very well be due to numerous reasons beyond theft; such as human error; mistaking a denomination of a bill, miscalculation of change given... etc.

    I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeekygreens View Post
    She has become an increasingly poor worker. .
    This is what matters. It's an actual reason. So far everything else is rumor and speculation, much like how gossip gets out or hand at my Mother's church.

    Watch your back, protect your business. But don't let the crowd cause you to lose your better judgement. Just as plausible as the speculation you've laid out, is that she slept with some guy that the other woman is now spreading rumors about her around town.

    Not saying it's not true, I wouldn't know. My point, it's not necessarily true just because "a lot of people" (who also don't have any factual information), are saying it. People are easily herded into a juicy narrative. All you have to do is keep repeating it from multiple sources.

    Trust me, I work on the internet

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    This is what matters. It's an actual reason. So far everything else is rumor and speculation, much like how gossip gets out or hand at my Mother's church.

    Watch your back, protect your business. But don't let the crowd cause you to lose your better judgement. Just as plausible as the speculation you've laid out, is that she slept with some guy that the other woman is now spreading rumors about her around town.

    Not saying it's not true, I wouldn't know. My point, it's not necessarily true just because "a lot of people" (who also don't have any factual information), are saying it. People are easily herded into a juicy narrative. All you have to do is keep repeating it from multiple sources.

    Trust me, I work on the internet
    Very well put.

    And all of you folks' advice is extremely appreciated. Being new business owners with more than 20 staff has proven to be a challenge; a good one, but a challenge.

    I'm leaning towards believing these "rumors", as the evidence keeps stacking up. She was just kicked out of her apartment for stealing her roommate's (who also works for us) rent money for the past few months.

    It would seem the best course of action is to call her previous employer (another small business) to get the real story, and bide our time. We also have the option to not renew her teaching contract and demote her to assistant because of the complaints from parents (about her increasingly poor attitude). This may open up the possibility of her moving on to new employment. However if she is stealing as is claimed, I'd hate to see her in such a position again...

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    From my own experience managing employees (in Las Vegas) anytime I see a pattern like this (if true) they're up against a wall with either gambling or drugs and are desperate.

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    If the parents are independently hearing stories about her alleged thievery, and are expressing concerns about it to you, that also throws fuel on the fire for demotion or termination. It reflects badly on your business if the customers do not trust your staff (who are employed in a position of trust). That said, it is always better to try to get her to leave of her own volition, rather than having to fire her; and if you do have to fire her, better to have well-documented cause even if you can legally let her go at will.

    Would drug testing be called for? Does the state require or recommend it for childcare facilities? If she is doing drugs, that might be a way to get her to leave on her own (if she wants to avoid the test), or gather further evidence in support of letting her go (if the results are positive).
    Last edited by tallen; 05-24-2017 at 01:54 PM.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeekygreens View Post
    She has become an increasingly poor worker.
    What do you mean by poor work? Before you fire somebody on the grounds of it, it's ideal if you and your employees are on the same page about it.

  10. #20
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    To follow up on Warren's comment, "getting on the same page" is typically done by having a program of regular performance reviews with all employees. In many businesses these are done annually, but they could be done at a more frequent interval. Typically, the employee is asked to complete a self-assessment of their work, and the employer may do formal observations, look at productivity metrics, or gather other "data." This might be followed by a meeting where the employer and employee would sit down to discuss the employee's work performance, strengths and weaknesses, and goals for improvement (as necessary). The key thing is to document, document, document.... It is a fair bit of work to do it right (but less than doing it wrong and ending up in court). If you have 20 employees, establishing some sort of formal program of regular evaluation would be worthwhile. Do you have an employee handbook?

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