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Small Business Digest


How To Better Manage Employee Theft Incidents

Nearly every business owner knows having security systems in place is the best way to avoid not only external theft, but also internal theft—namely, from employees. While this certainly holds true, if an employer does discover theft through a security video, or by any means, they may find themselves asking, what now?

The team at Security System Reviews ( has put together a list of tips to help employers handle a theft by an employee.

  1. It is very important to collect all the necessary facts and evidence before proceeding with any action, otherwise the employer can end up with a wrongful termination lawsuit. Evidence can include witness statements, video from a security system, bank statements, or any other hard proof that demonstrates the employee has done something wrong.
  2. Carefully review the company termination policy before speaking with the employee at all. Read through any necessary documents, such as employee manuals, to determine the proper protocol for handling the situation. It’s also necessary to review employee contracts, and collective bargaining agreements. For companies that have at-will employment policies, there may be no reason against firing the employee immediately.
  3. The employee should be terminated, once the above steps are completed. Most companies will provide a written statement of why the employee was fired, and this can be useful if a lawsuit is later brought against the employer.
  4. Contact law enforcement, rather than trying to handle the theft internally. It’s important that employers not threaten the person they’re firing. The police should be the ones to handle the situation on a criminal level.
  5. Rather than attempting to cover losses by taking the money from the person’s paycheck, it’s best to handle the situation in small claims court. Many states have laws dictating how much of an employee’s paycheck can be garnished because of theft.
  6. Employers should share minimal information with other employees about the situation. A fired employee can potentially file a defamation lawsuit if too much information is shared, so only give other employees the bare necessities to understand what’s going on.

© 2018, Information Strategies, Inc.
P.O. Box 315, Ridgefield, NJ 07657