employee theft, among other things


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Posted by M.R. Daniels on September 26, 2002 at 15:01:30:

The thing I hate most about having employees is having them!!
We have replaced the person doing our shipping three times this year. It is a real nuisance to train someone to this job, takes about two weeks of my hanging over their shoulder and explaining every step of the process.
There are several reasons why we can't hang on to someone. One is that I don't have enough shipping to give anyone a full time job. Yet the position requires some skill, organization, calculating, and a 3-d kind of mind for how to pack fragile things well. Most people who are qualified for all that want more than 15 hours a week.
The shipper we started out with was good, but left us when a full time job opened elsewhere. The next person was a college student and left us when school started and her schedule was fuller than she thought it would be. The next one was good at packing, but began to miss work, come in late, leave early, not come back from lunch, and otherwise show no responsibility. After several warnings, I fired her.
She filed for unemployment. I declared that she was fired for "willful misconduct" and she denied that, claiming that she was never given a regular schedule, was told she could work whenever she felt like it, and that I had not warned her.
Unfortunately, I did not give her written notices and have her sign them, something the UC people want you to do in order to prove that an employee has received warnings. However, I did have witnesses who stood there when I gave her schedules, warnings, procedures, etc. So now I have to go to court, pay three employees to spend the day there with me to testify, and probably she will win anyway.
But the kicker is that I just found out she had been stealing from us! We live in a very small town, rural area. The woman I hired as a replacement had a babysitter tell her that her mom worked for "this really cool place that let her bring home all this stuff for me" and began to describe some of our products!
I did some checking and found that the last two jobs she had, she was fired for stealing. (She neglected to mention those places in her job application.)
I want to do something about this. It's not about the few cents more it will cost me in UC charges, but about the fact that she is just plain wrong and is playing the system, something she evidently knows how to do. Plus, the rest of my employees are enraged that she was literally taking money out of their pockets as well, by stealing the products that pay their salaries.
The hearing is October 18.
Any ideas, short of illegal ones?!

M.R. Daniels


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