What do you do about workplace theft?

Generally speaking, we all know theft and stealing are criminally punishable offenses, but do we all know how workplace theft is defined?

Well, let’s get to it then.

Companies have various assets that employees can either swipe or steal or abuse or misuse.

Time Theft:

Employees may fabricate their time in and time out. Let’s be real, no one is watching them punching a clock. As a supervisor, you only see them once you’ve arrived on scene. Hence, you will miss seeing them arrive if you’re coming in after a morning meeting. Therefore, if your employees know about it beforehand, they may decide to cut back on their morning attendance.

Stealing Information:

Employees, of all levels, have access to information, which could include classified and private documents that could give other companies an edge if they get their hands on it.

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Company property:

This refers to the literal physical property an office has, for instance anything small from erasers, notepads, staplers, paper to larger items, such as chairs, wall art, etc.


This is what employers primarily consider workplace theft punishable by trial. So how do you deal with theft if it’s brought to your attention? Begin with setting ground rules when someone is employed. Use the contract to define what constitutes theft.  Inform the employee that you are going to launch a proper investigation so you don’t end up dismissing someone based on hearsay.

Collect actual physical evidence and involve the cops only if you have to. If this can be taken care of by a simple dismissal, try not to be vindictive and ruin someone’s career. Trust they will learn their lesson from being fired.

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