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Thread: Advice on Employee and Theft

  1. #1

    Default Advice on Employee and Theft

    We recently purchased a business and have a wonderful staff. However shortly after the purchase, we heard from several people that one of our employees was suspected of stealing from her second employer. Weeks later, we find she has been terminated from that position (unknown reason), and a potential police investigation pending. Some more weeks later, we hear she is now suspected of stealing from her new second job, but haven't heard anything further about the police investigation.

    My question though is simple: what would you do in this situation? I understand this is all hearsay, and could at the very worst be 100% fabricated (however unlikely as it is from multiple sources). Rumors beget rumors, which in turn beget trouble of all kind. I need to quash this.

    Should we talk to her directly?
    Call her (first) former employer?
    Contact the police?

    I would sincerely love some advice from anybody who has had a similar experience. I am at somewhat of at a loss.

  2. #2
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    Add internal safeguards and random inventory counts. Without solid proof that she is stealing from you, there is nothing you can do. Even approaching her to address rumors can be very dangerous. For your sake, I hope that she isn't dealing with cash at your place.
    Brad Miedema
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  3. #3
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    Well, first of all don't put too much trust in hearsay just because it's from multiple sources. Investigate for yourself.
    If you know the owner or can speak to the owner of the other business, I'd ask.

    If not, I'd just ask her about it. Also it's not out of line to do a background check on your employees or prospective hires. Here in Vegas since you need so many cards to work in Hospitality, just getting arrested alerts your employer because one or more of your cards gets pulled. Yep, it's crappy but that's the way it is.

    I agree with the above, check up on your own controls and make sure that you're not giving her an opportunity.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Well, first of all don't put too much trust in hearsay just because it's from multiple sources. Investigate for yourself.
    If you know the owner or can speak to the owner of the other business, I'd ask.

    If not, I'd just ask her about it. Also it's not out of line to do a background check on your employees or prospective hires. Here in Vegas since you need so many cards to work in Hospitality, just getting arrested alerts your employer because one or more of your cards gets pulled. Yep, it's crappy but that's the way it is.

    I agree with the above, check up on your own controls and make sure that you're not giving her an opportunity.
    Her background is clean, however it wouldn't show any pending investigations.

    I understand the hearsay aspect. Like I said, I'm not jumping to any conclusions, but at the same time, I want to investigate this. I feel a bit uneasy waiting until she steals from us (if she is indeed stealing) to investigate/take action, especially if (yes, if) she's done it at two places.
    Last edited by squeekygreens; 05-22-2017 at 04:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by squeekygreens View Post
    Her background is clean, however it wouldn't show any pending investigations.
    It will if she's been arrested. Just gotta get creative. Just about every police department or court has a blotter online these days. Nowhere to hide.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    It will if she's been arrested. Just gotta get creative. Just about every police department or court has a blotter online these days. Nowhere to hide.
    Sure, I understand, and I've done exactly that. However like I said, nothing will show up if there is an active investigation underway, i.e. she has not yet been charged/arrested for a crime, which may or may not have taken place. If pending investigations were recorded on one's RAP sheet, many politicians would be out of jobs . And if she had been charged/arrested, I would know exactly what to do! Hah.
    Last edited by squeekygreens; 05-22-2017 at 05:23 PM.

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    Do you suspect any drug use? Do you require random drug testing? What kind of operation are we talking about? Retail? Hospitality?

  8. #8

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    Don't you have security cameras at your workplace? Every workplace needs them these days, whether there have been thefts or not. Also it's always better to deal with the matter head on. So ask her directly and also ask her former employer. Maybe they have some concrete evidence.

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    At this point she may or may not be suspected of stealing from another employer. Outside of those rumors, do you have any reason to believe she is stealing?? You don't mention what type of business that you are in, but you need to make sure that safeguards are in place. At the very least, those safeguards should be telling you that theft is occurring even if it doesn't point to the source.
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  10. #10

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    I'm sorry for the late reply everyone.

    The business is a daycare and learning center. This is why I want to deal with this issue as soon as possible. I do not want to take chances with this activity, let alone have this sort of person, around children. We do have several security cameras that monitor the facility 24/7. This employee is, coincidentally and unfortunately, the one who closes for us, and is left alone with business monies. My wife double and triple checks the money count every day and has yet to find a discrepancy.

    Another note: terminating an employee requires us to report the firing to state, who, depending on the circumstances of the termination, will bar her from working in a childcare/teaching environment for up to 20 years. In the case of neglect and/or theft, she would receive the maximum. The employee has her Masters Degree in teaching/education.

    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.
    Last edited by squeekygreens; 05-23-2017 at 10:43 AM.

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