Five points to remember during a work investigation

by on May 4, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Keep these points in mind during a work investigation for theft

A theft occurs in your department and you want to get to the bottom of it.

You have several suspects in mind and you’re anxious to talk to them.

While you don’t have to read employees their rights in the same manner as a police officer, you must treat them with respect. Companies have paid millions of dollars to employees who were falsely accused of theft by their supervisors during a work investigation.

Here are five points to keep in mind whenever you’re interviewing employees about suspected theft during a work investigation:

  1. Avoid using terms such as “thief” or “steal,” when you’re conducting a theft investigation. Take a page from Joe Friday and ask only for the facts.
  2. Try to have at least one other person present when you’re interviewing an employee suspected of theft.
  3. Don’t act on speculation, either your own or another employee’s.
  4. Make sure your door is unlocked when you’re interviewing employees. Companies have been found guilty of false imprisonment when employees have been able to prove that they were interviewed behind locked doors.
  5. Even if an employee is guilty of theft, his or her privacy rights can be violated if you discuss the situation with employees who don’t have a need to know.

HR 4.3

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