Today when companies are taking extra measures to secure their assets be they intellectual properties or inventory, a sound set of policies are key to dealing with many concerns that may arise in future. A company should ensure that it is well equipped with company policy that will come to rescue at time of malpractice by employees or any member of the company. These policies not only state what activities will encompass malpractice, but also mention the outcome of such illegitimate actions. While inducting team members ensure that you keep them well abreast with company policies.
Once you have come across any case of internal theft be careful while dealing with it. Before you go ahead and name an employee, it is important that you investigate it thoroughly. A wrong move could take company to litigation, resulting in potential claim on the grounds of defamation.
One of the best ways to take up these issues would be to let the employee know that he/she has violated the company’s policy, than going ahead and calling them thieves.
Investigation process in case of Internal Fraud:
Assign an investigator:
Start the investigation as soon as possible. Ask them to gather all information possible like audit computer files, financial records, compile necessary documents, records of computer files and e-mails; hence also ensure none of the documents to be used as evidence were not tampered with. If video exists then have it reviewed as well.
Termination of the employee:
Immediate termination is not advisable. You may let the employee in his/ her place so that you continue monitoring as the investigation proceeds. In case the employee is aware of the ongoing investigation, it is suggested you suspend the employee till final decision is taken. You will have to continue to pay your employee as the final decision is still awaited.
Bring in place confidentiality guidelines for investigating team. The related documents like employee records, interviews, reports from other employees and any other evidence gathered should only be shared with the investigating team and with law enforcement officials if they are involved. Ensure that rumors do not spread within your company and also outside. It may create a negative impression for your company.
To deal with loss:
internal theft can be a costly affair. Hence take action as soon as you get to know of any such malpractice. Also your employees should be aware that losses would be investigated on priority basis. The focus should be on recovering the loss incurred. It may not always be possible to compensate for the losses through the employees paycheck, in such scenario file a civil suit or press criminal charges. A follow up with company’s insurance agency could also be of great help.
The Law differs from one state to another. In Florida, the state does not permit the company’s defense attorney to also act as witnesses for the case. Hence it is suggested that an independent investigator be hired for the purpose.
We can carry out an internal theft investigation in Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater and surrounding areas.