3 Things You Have To Do When Terminating an Employee for Theft

If the fear of employees stealing from your business keeps you awake at night, you’re probably not alone: experts estimate that employee theft costs employers billions each year. When it happens, here are three things you must do, from labor & employment lawyers on JD Supra:

1.Keep your cool:

“The responsible employer should not permit ‘on-the-spot’ terminations. The consequences of an improper, or improperly handled, termination — in terms of employee morale, the cost of successfully defending a challenge or the liability attaching to unsuccessful litigation — are simply too great not to take the time for detached, pre-termination review by higher management. From the perspective of the employment litigator, this step presents an incomparable opportunity to control the facts that will underlie subsequent litigation.” (Successful Employment Termination Strategies: How To Get Rid of the Troublesome Employee by Fox Rothschild)

2.Investigate claims thoroughly with the right team:

“… there should be at least two individuals involved in the investigation, and optimally, one should not personally know the subject. This will help avoid claims of a conclusion being trumped up against an employee because of hostility by the investigator toward the accused. For example, an employee might claim that the manager framed her for theft for refusing his sexual advances.” (Common Mistakes When Terminating Employees For Theft, Part 1 by Fisher & Phillips LLP)

3.Give the employee access to materials used against them:

“The City of Philadelphia was criticized for the fact that the officer was not allowed to have copies of the charges against him. There may occasionally be compelling reasons why documents should not be given to the employee appealing a decision, but normally it’s a good idea to share relevant documentation with the employee. It’s also usually the fair and right thing to do.” (Clarifying the Cat’s Paw: Just How Independent Does “Independent” Have to Be? by Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)


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