Employee Theft on the Rise

Tue, December 10th, 2013 - 3:00 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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T’s the season to be giving.  Seems it is also the season to be taking.  Since every season is open season for employee theft.  Employee theft is on the increase.  According to the annual Retail Theft Survey, employee theft is up some 5.5 percent.

According to the article in the Digital Journal…”Retail theft was up 5.5 percent in 2012, according to the Annual Retail Theft Survey. The survey, which reviewed the records of 23 major retailers, logged a similar increase in 2011, which could offer a warning about prevailing issues in the retail industry.

“The seriousness of retail theft is a much greater problem than many people realize,” says Mark R. Doyle, president of Jack L. Hayes International, the company that conducts the survey each year. “These theft losses are stealing profits from retailers and driving retail prices higher for the consumer.”

Retailers apprehended more than 1.1 million shoplifters and employees in 2012, and recovered more than $189 million in goods. To keep these losses down, experts recommend retailers become aware of the following major risks that fuel internal loss.”

What are the reasons for the increase in theft?  It may be the economy, or employee’s dissatisfaction with current salaries and working conditions.  It may be desperation or in the worse case scenario and continual breakdown in ethics and protocol that enables certain employees to believe they deserve more than they are paid, that is okay to steal from their workplace.  That it is a little something extra in lieu of lower wages or more working hours.  It’s hard to say, really.  What we do know, according to the survey, is that workers are stealing more.
For those hiring the first of next year, it is advisable to conduct a more comprehensive series of background checks as part of your employment screening program.  Not only is it wise to conduct criminal records searches, but also reference checks as well.


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