Non-Compete Agreement Enforcement Begins with Gathering Evidence

non-competition agreement

Having a non-compete agreement is an essential step in securing your business assets, almost like insurance, from one of the most damaging types of the potential employee theft; theft of your clients. Unfortunately, a signed agreement is only the first step. Once an ex-employee violates that agreement and begins stealing from you, you need the right lawyer and investigator to enforce the agreement, stop them from stealing your clients and compensate you for the damages they caused. Non-compete agreement enforcement begins with gathering evidence. non-competition agreement

At ASG, we have assisted hundreds of businesses and owner groups to help enforce non-compete agreements.

Effectively, we have two ways of going about this. The first is to identify and document whatever business the violator is conducting through interviews, document retrieval and background checks. Establishing a timeline of events and documenting the proof of business transactions is crucial. You need a trained investigator who can read between and beyond the lines to not only document the violations that are easy to see, but to also locate other instances that have yet to be uncovered. As the investigation unfold, ASG will help legal your legal counsel to target additional avenues to send subpoenas to further the evidence collection process.

The second way that ASG frequently collects evidence for non-compete agreement enforcement is by conducting surveillance of the offender and sometimes even their partners or proxies. Surveillance is unique and powerful evidence that demonstrates the violator’s actions in an undeniable way.

If you are seeking help with non-competition agreement enforcement, call one of our team today. We can walk you through the process, help you to determine if an investigation is appropriate and, as always, the consultation is guaranteed to be confidential by law.

Paul Dank Achieves Board Certification in Investigations

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BOARD ACCREDITED INVESTIGATOR

For Immediate Release

Contact: Harvey E. Morse, Founder- BAI

Voice: 386-547-3600

harvey@ bestpi .com

 

BOARD ACCREDITED INVESTIGATOR

Local Private Investigator successfully completes requirements and earns the

Designation of “BAI”

 

The Board of Accredited Investigators, Inc. and lntellenet are proud to announce that Paul Dank.

has completed all of the requirements to be awarded the designation of Board Accredited Investigator (BAI).

To achieve this prestigious designation, the applicant must hold a valid private investigator’s license where required and successfully complete Board approved ongoing training which may be by written exam, specialized courses and the submission of a white paper on an investigative subject not restricted to a particular state. The results of the effort are evaluated and finally approved by peer review. To maintain the designation, the licensee must agree to pursue continuing education on an annual basis in accordance with the strict guidelines of the Board.

“We perform very serious professional investigative services for the public, corporations and the legal community,” said BAI Founder Harvey E. Morse, “and the BAI program allows those who wish to voluntarily establish a higher level of education and credentials to do so, thus gaining recognition and separating themselves from the average investigator.”

Those elite individuals who meet and maintain the highest standards of the investigative profession who successfully complete the extensive program requirements, are ultimately awarded the BAI designation with whom clients can engage assuredly.

Reputational Due Diligence

Senior executives charged with managing relationships and risk face the challenge of getting complete, accurate and actionable intelligence on the people, both internal and external to their organization, and businesses. Many rely on one of two avenues to develop this type of information; have someone inside conduct internet based searches, which is essentially “Googling” it or use a paid database, usually one that was sold to corporate counsel as a crystal ball for all things informational. They should strongly consider have a reputational due diligence investigation conducted by ASG.

Unfortunately, neither of these options is anywhere close to a professional, reputational due diligence investigation. Google will only take one so far, and most of the time, those who are conducting even these simple Google searches, are not properly trained in investigative search techniques or methodologies. They do their best, but important information is missed.  Paid databases offered by large data brokers are a great start, we use them as a launch point on every investigation, but the integrity of the data and limitations with these services are hidden. Further, the world of all records and relationships being one mouse click away is a fantasy. Perhaps 30 years from now that will be different, but for now, these databases are a very poor substitute for an actual investigation. Most importantly, both of these approaches lack the crucial element of human intelligence. In the majority of cases, meaningful, actionable information is not just sitting on the web, it comes from people. These limitations deny you access to the type of information you likely need most, particularly that which provides insight into the subject’s character.

Our Reputational Due Diligence Investigations

At ASG, we provide our clients with reputational due diligence that is complete, accurate, verified and cost effective. We have a large team of specialists who each focus on one specific element of an investigation, and who cross support one another and ensure that no avenues are left unexplored. We have one of the largest expert investigative staffs in the country and have the experience and depth of resources to provide reputational due diligence investigations that rival the industry’s leading firms.

Why Investigating Employee Misconduct is Not Optional

As professional investigators who work regularly with corporate clients. including HR departments, corporate counsel, security leadership and outside counsel, with new clients, we sometimes encounter some reluctance to hiring a private investigative agency. This leads us to explain why investigating employee misconduct is not optional.

The reluctance always seems to stem from one concern: their will be a negative perception to hiring a PI to spy on one of our employees.

Lets begin with the idea that hiring a professional to investigate an employee is negative. Professional investigators do not spy. They do conduct the appropriate type of investigation to try and prove or disprove an allegation of wrong doing. The reason you are using a PI to do this is because they are the exact tool you need to do the job correctly. This is what they do. They were trained for it. They are court recognized experts at it, etc. etc. The problem lies not in the private investigators, but in the Hollywood portrayal of same. Almost nonstop since the 1960s, television shows have been airing about PIs doing all manner of unrealistic, crazy, unprofessional, unethical things, and are watched by millions. Today’s corporate investigators are far removed from that world, but the perception is that we are reckless and cross the line for our clients. If you are doing even the slightest due diligence on the investigative agency you are planning on working with, you can quickly discern the experts from the small time, spouse chasers who are truly not capable of working on most corporate matters, and even they are not capable of the trouble caused by TV PIs.

To further clarify why hiring a professional investigator is the proper move when facing an allegation of employee misconduct, think of the other options. You can conduct the investigation though your internal staff, but this creates a number of undesirable byproducts and raises some issues too. Whoever performs the investigation will certainly be known forever as the one who gets coworkers fired. No one in your organization will look at them the same. Another issue is the training and experience of the person you select internally and how they may not be qualified to conduct such an investigation. The results may suffer. Personal issues between employees, supervisors, ideas of secondary gain and the like can also cause conflicts with an internally conducted investigation, despite your best intentions. Even if you fall back on the “companies” outside legal counsel to conduct the investigation, it smacks of bias given that they are always on managements side of such matters. In short, getting a qualified outside investigator to conduct an impartial investigation is critical.

Lastly, one can site the need to protect everyone’s interests, from shareholders to managers, from coworkers to the accused, and even outside regulators with compliance needs by using a third party. All of these constituents have a stake in achieving an unbiased outcome to the investigation.

For more information on why investigating employee misconduct is not optional, or to talk with one of our professionals, please call us today at 888-677-69700

The real cost of employee time theft

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For many, the idea of employee time theft evokes thoughts of one of two things: an employee taking a 5 minute break to send a text or two more than they ought, or the other extreme where an employee is not working and someone else is clocking them in that day. The reality is usually somewhere in between, but the damage they do is surprising.

Obviously the bottom line for the business suffers when an employee is stealing. No way around that. But if one digs deeper, you find that the cost is even higher. Consider the following: when a worker (leaves early, comes in late, engages in personal activities or a side business) their work still needs to get done and someone else is doing it! Now lets look to other costs incurred as part of employee time theft. Employees who aren’t doing their job are usually causing damage to the final deliverable. The product or service is less accurate, of lower quality, shipped late or underwhelm the client in some way. Another real cost of employee time theft is the damage it causes to moral and the productivity of those left behind. If they are aware the offending activity, they may resent the offender, but they also resent the company. No employee whats to out a colleague and they either consciously or unconsciously resent the company for not taking action to prevent this. Although they would not mimic that behavior, it adversely affects their productivity and always damages culture. It also leads them to take more breaks, work less diligently and promotes gossip and drama. If the other employees are unaware of it, they still end up working harder, incurring unneeded stress and again suffer a loss of moral.

If your organization is experiencing employee time theft, we encourage you to call us today. We have safe, professional, cost effective employment investigations that can help you to catch the culprits and regain trust and control in the workplace.

Why Aren’t You Investigating Employee Time Theft?

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Investigating employee time theft is an uncomfortable area for many members of human resources and corporate counsel. For some it conjures up the idea that to do so is to “spy” on the employee. For others, it is simply something they have not dealt with before and is unfamiliar and causes them to pause. These are understandable, but easy to digest when one understands what is involved and how investigating employee time theft can be professionally handled.

In those instances where an employee is potentially inside the workplace and doing work for some other concern while at her desk, an outside investigator is likely to be of little value. Those scenarios, although not typical, need to be addressed internally though enhanced oversight, relocation or both. When the employee time theft is occurring outside of the workplace, for example where a telecommuting employee, sales person, technician, etc. are supposed to be working but are not, limited professional surveillance is not only ethical, but also very effective and produces an end product that actually shows what the employee was doing when they should have been working, with no uncertainty. This approach is also highly effective when documenting what a telecommuting employee is actually doing and not doing. Unfortunately, too often, not only are they not working, they are doing something that is potentially dangerous. Consider the consequences of an employee of yours who is on the clock but is drunk and then operating a vehicle and injures someone. The liability and damage to your reputation can spiral up quickly.

Time theft if really no different than any other form or employee misconduct and corporations have an obligation to stem the financial damage and protect the stakeholders. If one looks to the insurance industry, surveillance is not only a longstanding, widely accepted practice, it is also very cost effective and necessary. Moreover, surveillance is only taken in public domain and provides video evidence that is nearly impossible to refute and is fully accepted by the courts. When your employee is being paid for their time, it is reasonable and acceptable to verify that this is what they are doing.

For information on investigating employee time theft and protecting your company, contact us today 855-997-2800.

Employee Theft Often Leads Small Firms to Make Bad Choices ~ WSJ Article

External threats

They Often Try to Give the Thief Another Chance—Instead of Breaking Ties Quickly and Decisively

By  ALINA DIZIK

January 26, 2015

For small businesses, employee theft deals a double blow. First, whether it’s money, equipment or data that gets stolen, the business has to absorb a hit it often doesn’t have the capacity to absorb. And second, it loses a lot of the mutual trust that a tightly knit operation depends on.

Experts say that entrepreneurs who have been hit by employee theft should tread carefully. It’s easy to make missteps, which could lead to more disruptions in the workplace and legal action from the accused employee.

Make It Quick

First, experts say, the best approach in almost all cases is to cut ties quickly. Many entrepreneurs may have an impulse to try to recover what was stolen, or to give an employee—particularly a once-trusted one—a chance to explain or make amends

But it’s better to write off losses and let someone go as soon as possible, explaining the move as “downsizing” and not mentioning the theft at all.

Accusing an employee of theft will mean the company needs to present bulletproof evidence of possible wrongdoing and may end up facing legal action from the accused, says Ellen Rohr, a small-business consultant in Rogersville, Mo.

“If I’m not going to prosecute, I’m not going to confront [the employee] about it,” she says. “Be really careful of what you accuse [the employee] of.”

Even though it can feel dishonest, telling an employee he or she has been downsized without giving a specific reason leaves less room for error, she says.

Full article here.

Ms. Dizik is a writer in New York. She can be reached atreports@wsj.com.

Fraud Number One Reason To Conduct Background Checks On Workers or Partners From Outside US

Restaurant & Bar Investigations bartender pouring beer

As the World Economic Forum kicks off this week in Davos, Switzerland, one of the most talked about threats to business outside of the US and the Canada is fraud. In many countries, organizational and individual fraud is a daily part of business life. From the $5.00 payoff to a bureaucrat to do their job all the way to institutional cyber crime ring participation, fraud and criminal behavior are still far to common and in many places culturally accepted. As workers move to the US, some bring the criminal culture with them.

Many employers like to look at the socioeconomic background of the job candidate, and if she or he come from a family appearing higher on that scale, they deduce that it is the result of success through hard, honest work. Unfortunately the reality is that fraud and crime in other countries pays off. Fraud and corruption lead to a better life and those who are “good at business” in many places are also good at the business of cutting corners and “making things happen” in their favor. In order to get ahead, one often engages in the “business as usual” and finds that no one in the immediate community is even phased by the acceptance of or participation in fraud and corruption.These are behaviors and norms that are hard to unlearn simply through the act of moving.

Once someone immigrates to the US, they often feel that their activities back at home are far away and, if illegal or unethical, will remain hidden. They often count on the fact that many employers will not take the time to check. This is a good way to save time and simultaneously increasing your risk and liability.

When hiring employees from outside the US, the need for a complete background check, although more expensive and requiring more time, is absolutely essential. For more information about our employee screening services, please call us at 888-677-9700.

Retailers fight holiday return fraud

Holiday return fraud: Christmas is over, the gifts have been exchanged and the presents opened, but the holiday shopping season is far from over.

It’s only December 26, and millions are already preparing to return unwanted gifts.  This year, many retailers are tightening up return policies to fight frivolous returns and flat out fraud.

Before you venture out to make your returns, check the website of the store you’re going to– and get familiar with their policy. Make sure you have a receipt, leave the tags on and make sure the item is in sell-able condition.  If you don’t have a receipt, don’t expect to get cash back.

If your gift was purchased online, many retailers will let you return it to the store. Don’t ship the item back without talking to the person who gave it to you. Unless you are making an even exchange, the refund will go back to the buyer, and you won’t see any of it.

Now is also a good time to shop, even if you don’t have a return. After Christmas sales are huge for retailers, with discounts at more than 50% to 69% over the next few weeks.

Are health care industry background checks falling short of protecting patients?

The health care industry has been conducting background checks for physicians, nurses and others that have patient care responsibilities. What is unique about the industry is how many of these are done. Frequently the employee is asked to obtain a copy of their own records and submit them for licensing and they are told which source, usually a state criminal background check, to obtain the records from. Employers then asked for a copy of them and use that in the hiring decision. No other industry makes a practice of leaving the records in the control of the employee and in many cases, the state criminal record searches conducted are limited and incomplete. Outside of healthcare, a release is signed and the employer then conducts the searches by a professional employment screening company.

The net result is patients and co-workers can end up with their records and even care in the hands of criminals. In November, a Michigan couple managed to gain employment at two Detroit area hospitals and allegedly stole the records of 1,000 patients. They used or intended to use the personal information of those victims to file fraudulent tax returns in their names.

Health care industry background checks