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.