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Employee theft or fraud can happen in a number of ways: from the petty cash box, from the stockroom, from payroll or through corporate espionage.
When you notice theft or fraud by an employee, it can seem easy enough to hand the investigation over to the head of human resources. More often than not, though, that person is completely inexperienced when it comes to handling workplace theft incidents. He simply doesn’t have the training to understand how quickly an investigation can get out of hand and threaten the good name of the business. When there is a workplace theft issue, then, you need to call in the professionals: Accurate Investigations in and around Atlanta.
Here’s how complicated these investigations really are
One of the most fundamental mistakes that inexperienced human resources personnel make during workplace theft investigations occurs during the evidence gathering stage. For instance, they usually head in to interview suspects, but find that they have nothing to say when they are faced with outright denial.
HR personnel also often fail to document their investigations adequately. In many investigations involving employees who are old hands at theft, they may go so far as to accuse the in-house investigator of abuse or other improper conduct if they are interviewed alone at any point. If the accused is a juvenile, conducting an interview without a parent present can invalidate all evidence gathered. An overeager amateur investigator may also jeopardize a case by threatening termination or prosecution in an attempt to scare the accused into admitting truth. Overly threatening behavior can derail a case in a court of law, too.
Inexperienced investigators can also overstep legal limits on the ways in which they conduct their investigations. In one recent case, for instance, an inexperienced HR person wishing to catch a thieving employee secretly placed surveillance cameras in her office. What it caught, though, were images of her changing. When the California Supreme Court saw what the secret camera had caught, they threw out the evidence entirely and started criminal action against the company.
It takes an inexperienced investigator
It can take years of experience in workplace theft investigations to know local laws well enough to build a case that will stand in court. This is where Accurate Investigations comes in. When you need to catch a dishonest employee, we are the consultants you can rely on. We know the field. We make sure that you don’t take a wrong turn.