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How to Deal With an Employee Theft

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When you experience theft in the workplace, it can be a frustrating experience. While it is one thing to have someone steal, shoplift, or vandalize your property when you don't know them, having one of your own workers commit a crime against your business is something else entirely. However, it is important that you put your personal feelings aside and remember you are running a business. Not only did they disrespect you by stealing from you, but you can use this as a lesson to your other employees that it won't be tolerated. Here are some things you should do after an employee has stolen from your company.

Call the Authorities

While this is often a personal choice about whether or not you will call the police, it is often recommended. It is easy to let an employee slide and simply fire them without taking any other action, but remember they committed a crime against you. Just because they worked for you doesn't make it any less of a crime. If they offered to return the money or merchandise right away, it is up to you whether you will simply terminate their employment or actually call the authorities. However, this is a decision you need to make quickly.

Terminate the Employee

The next thing you need to do is let the employee go, making sure you have security on-site if necessary. If you find out about the theft when the employee is at home and has not started their shift yet, turn off access to the building by reprogramming their electronic key card. If they don't use a key to get into the building, that is actually easier, because there are no keys to change or hope you get back. Wait until they return to work the following day, then call them to your office before they do anything or talk to any employees. You don't want to risk them accessing the computer or talking to an employee before you terminate them. This is for business security purposes.

Change the Locks

If your employee has a regular key and not an electronic key card that can be programmed remotely, you will need to change the locks. Even if they return the key to you, and you trust that they didn't make a copy, it is not something you should leave to chance. This is a routine procedure done when terminating an employee that has committed a dishonest act against a business. They are now a high-risk individual, so you don't want to put your business property or other employees in jeopardy by giving them extra chances. Call a 24-hour locksmith to have it done as quickly as possible.