Small Businesses Hesitant to Report Employee Theft

A recent study on small businesses reporting employee theft to authorities may surprise you.  The research studied surveys of 314 small business owners in the Cincinnati, Ohio region and covered an eclectic mix of industries including manufacturing, service, restaurant, retail and finance/banking.  30 in-person interviews were also included.

The study’s author, Jay Kennedy, published his results as a University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student.  His research shows that most small business owners decline to solicit police involvement when an employee is caught pilfering.  64 percent of small businesses have experienced theft by an employee although just 16 percent opted to report the incident to police. The study sheds light on the downfalls that could occur, should  you not include some sort of background check or pre employment screening in your company’s hiring process.

Four main reasons were offered as to why employers don’t report theft.

Victim-less Crime

Many owners won’t involve authorities because the crime isn’t seen as involving enough victims to be worth the time, trouble and/or resources required to advance through court processes.  Firing the employee is viewed as adequate enough.

Legal Counsel

Legal representation often advises against moving forward premised on required costs outweighing financial outcome.  The study points to one company that lost $200,000.  After the employee was successfully convicted, they were put on probation and required to pay just $50 a month in restitution.  Essentially, the business will never come close to receiving full restitution.

Relationships

Often, an employee that is caught stealing has worked at the business for years and become embedded with the business owner emotionally.  They sometimes are regarded as family or friend and have spent some amount of leisure time together outside work or know each other’s families.  The report claims that owners often want to put the incidence in the rear-view mirror and move forward as soon as possible.

Ineffective Justice System

Small business owners may view the criminal justice system as being incompetent or futile.  The study reports that employee theft often involves complex finances and a typical police officer isn’t viewed as having the skill set to deploy adequate intervention.  Additionally, small business owners often believe police forces are inundated with more stereotypical duties — such as patrolling the streets.

Cash was found to be the most common item stolen — making up 40 percent of small business theft.  Cash thefts involved in the study fell between just $5 up to $2 million with a median amount of $20,000 and Kennedy suggests the more money stolen has a direct relationship to the level of trust in the employee involved — both concurrently increasing.

Furthermore, Kennedy questioned a common theory that employee theft is based on lack of personal financial resources — pressing medical issues or other desperate circumstances.  Instead, he says the crimes are premised in what he calls “lifestyle enhancement,” with the convicted unable to account for how the money had been spent.

Besides cash, other items stolen were products (18 percent), production materials (12 percent), tools (8 percent) and equipment (6 percent).  Most thefts were found to have taken place over time, in lieu of a single occurrence.  61 percent of the thefts ranged from two weeks up to 20 years with the median being 16 months while most schemes were only uncovered by luck.

60 percent of employees identified as most likely to take part in employee theft were general or first-line in nature, meaning personnel at the lower rungs of the business that didn’t hold management or supervisory responsibilities.  Approximately 20 percent were managers/executives while the rest were made up in small numbers of accountants, bookkeepers, receptionists, secretaries and billing professionals.  Kennedy says only 2 percent of cashiers, who typically handle cash, were likely to take part in employee theft.

The damaging repercussions of employee theft is a process no business owner wants to go through.  ESS’s experience in the criminal background check process goes beyond the baseline.  Our reputation for  an advanced background check process can include hair drug tests, license verification or even 5 and 10 panel drug tests and offers employers the transparency to make the right choices.  We can cater to whatever unique safeguards your company requires.  Finding the best employees is a process and ESS is here to help you along the way.

Hair Follicle Drug Testing | What’s the Upside?

As we have mentioned, it really is a no brainer to incorporate pre employment drug testing to your potential new hires. Each method of drug testing has it’s own benefits, whether it be cost or turnaround time. Using hair as a specimen for drug testing is beneficial in it’s own way, for a variety of reasons. ESS is here for any questions you may have about any pre employment screening. Here are a few benefits of hair drug tests for employees.

Harder To Cheat. Harder to Beat.

There are countless websites with methods on how to beat a urine drug test. Any head shop nowadays will carry synthetic urine, special diluting drinks that a marijuana user could use within days of the test, and still possibly “beat the test.”

Drug testing specimens can be diluted, substituted (donor uses urine that is not actually theirs), or adulteration (manipulating the urine so drugs cannot be detected).

Bottom Line: Hair specimens are by nature almost impossible to dilute and very difficult to adulterate.

 

Longer Detection Window.

When it comes to laboratory positive detection rates, hair follicle drug testing has a big advantage over urine drug testing. Bottom line, drugs stay in a humans hair longer than it does their urine specimen.

Drugs Detectable in Urine Specimen – 4 Hours – 7 Days

Drugs Detectable in Hair Specimen – 7 Days to 90 Days

Each Drug is different in terms of detection windows, and every person is different as well. Regardless of who you are drug testing, when the last time they used was, etc, using hair follicle specimens as a means of pre employment drug testing will provide an increased hit rate.

Bottom Line: Hair drug testing can increase hit rate, which can lower risk, cost of failed tests, and facilitate a safer workplace for your team.

These are only 2 primary reasons why a company can benefit more from a hair follicle drug test than other forms of pre employment drug tests, but once again, each company profile is different.

Some companies may not need the “scare tactic” of weeding extras out with the public knowledge of a hair drug test. Some companies may need to prevent this as soon as possible, in the hiring process, to avoid hiring the wrong employee. Either way, contact ESS for any further information on drug testing and pre employment screening.

Better Safe Than Sorry | 3 Ways Your Business Could Be at Risk if You Don’t Pre Screen

When it comes to hiring a new employee, it’s always important to find someone with a good reputation. But how can you know someone you just met? Where has this person been?  In order to truly find out about an employee’s past, background screening is necessary.

Some may say that pre employment screening is a waste of money, but if you hire the wrong person, it could cost you much more. In fact, employee screening can save your money and can protect your business from failing.

Here are 3 ways your business could be at risk if you don’t check a new hire’s history:

The Wrong Hire Can Lower Current Employee Morale and Productivity.

Don’t let one bad egg ruin your perfect team synergy. Your employees are what keep your company breathing, so you want them to be happy working together. Performing a thorough background check will prevent you from hiring the wrong person, and will decrease your company’s risks of damaging reputation, or losing customers/market share.

The Cost of a Bad Hire Can Cost You.. Big Time.

This includes training, severance costs, and productivity lost. Hiring and firing the wrong person could cost your company up to 5x the applicant’s annual salary. So many businesses across all industries end up wasting time, money, and resources to find another, replacement employee. A background check will help you avoid hiring the wrong people and will save you money and time.

You significantly increase the risk of employee theft.

15% of applicants have admitted to stealing merchandise from an employer. Reducing the risk of employee theft with screening will prevent you from losing money and products. Performing a criminal background check can help you know that you aren’t hiring someone who will steal from the company. 

It’s important to make sure you are hiring the right people to be a part of your staff. Our background check services help you ensure you are able to hire with confidence. For employee verification and other pre-employment screening services, please give ESS a call to learn more about what we can do for you!

 

Why E-Verify is Critical for ESS Clients

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment.

Employment Screening Services can protect your organization from investigation and fines related to violations that you may not even realize you may be committing.

Did you know that E-Verify, though seemingly easy to use, has strict policies that could result in your company being fined, in upwards of $3,200? For example, in the event that there was an error in the hiring process, and your company failed to comply with Form I-9 requirements, you will be fined at the very least $110, but potentially up to $1,100.

Other factors, like document fraud, such as forging documents or not ensuring accurate information will result in a $375 dollar fine. See the infographic for more in depth analysis of the fines associated with various infractions.

Failure to comply with the regulations of I-9 and E-Verify can result in more than just economic ramifications. Lack of attention to detail in this facet of documentation also puts you at risk legally, as well as the public reputation of your company. Don’t let oversight put your corporate image in a bad light.

All of our employees here at ESS have reviewed all of the rules and regulations of E-Verify in depth. We have extensive experience working with E-Verify, having used the service since 2011. We can watch over all of your documentation with I-9 and E-Verify, so you can get back to running your business and not agonize over Government regulations.

For employee verification and other pre employment screening services, please give Employment Screening Services a call today!

Amidst Officer’s Overdose, BPD Reveals Drug Test Void

Last week at 3am on Friday morning, Buffalo Police and first responders saved a man from overdosing on heroin. In the thick of an epidemic facing the region – almost 400 heroin related overdose deaths since 2014 – this was the first time that emergency services were provided to a Buffalo Police officer.

The 26-year-old man had been a member of the Buffalo Police Force for the last two years. He was saved by being administered two doses of Narcan, an opiate antidote, and is luckily recovering. The daunting event sheds even more reality of the problem of substance abuse in the region, having a man employed to prevent such events from happening overdose himself.

With the story surrounding the man’s overdose, questions were raised when it was revealed that no one employed by the Buffalo Police Dept. has been drug tested for over two years.

The last doctor who administered random drug tests to Buffalo Police left his contract two years ago, leaving the position void, and meaning no one would be drug tested.

Another officer aware of the overdose of his comrade had this to say, reported by the Buffalo News.

“The department has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, and something like this really is shocking. Right now, we are in shock mode. This is unheard of.”

How could the department have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs without any form of employment drug testing?

“This is the first time we have had an officer who had taken heroin. We’ve had other officers in the past who have lost their jobs because they tested positive for marijuana or cocaine, but this is the first time we’ve had heroin.”

The department normally conducts random drug testing on officers at least once a year, but haven’t for over two years. Police Benevolent Association President Kevin Kennedy claimed that finding a new source for drug testing is a top priority.

“The city is hoping to have a new medical review officer in place by April or May and the plan is to have 100 percent testing every year for four years,” Kennedy said.

The role of a medical review officer is to set the protocol for testing and examine lab test results to verify if anyone has violated the department’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use. Mayor Byron Brown didn’t directly answer why the position hasn’t been filled for over two years, but he had this to say, as reported by WGRZ.

“We have an RFP that’s in the field. The language in the RFP has been agreed to by the police management and the PBA,” said Brown. “We expect to have a doctor retained soon to do that kind of work.”

The fact that the officer survived the overdose is extremely fortunate, but it is baffling how no drug testing has been administered to Buffalo Police Officers for over two years. There are countless benefits to pre employment, reasonable suspicion, and random drug testing. It almost always benefits the employer, in the sense of weeding out any suspected substance abuse of their employees, but with the rise in overdose related deaths in Western New York, drug testing also ensures the safety and wellbeing of the employees themselves.

 

For more information on employee drug testing, please feel free to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274.

Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase for 2nd Consecutive Year

Decades long decline shows possible reversal in workforce drug use.

The percentage of American workers who tested positive for illicit drugs increased for the second consecutive year in the U.S. workplace. This comes from a study based on over 10 million pre employment and employment drug tests by Quest Diagnostics. Employment drug testing significantly decreases the risk involved in hiring a new employee that could cost you money, and damage your reputation.

“American workers are increasingly testing positive for workforce drug use across almost all workforce categories and drug test specimen types. In the past, we have noted increases in prescription drug positivity rates, but now it seems illicit drug use may be on the rise, according to our data,” “These findings are especially concerning because they suggest that the recent focus on illicit marijuana use may be too narrow, and that other dangerous drugs are potentially making a comeback.”

-Robert Dupont, former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Urinalysis tests, hair follicle drug tests, and reasonable suspicion drug testing are a few variations of employment drug testing that employers use to avoid hiring drug users.

Illicit drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are clearly associated with impaired physical and cognitive functions. Dupont went on to talk about the risks involved with employees who use these illicit drugs, in our outside of the workplace.

“The increases in illicit drug positivity in employment drug testing should get employers and policymakers to take notice of the serious risks these drugs create for productivity, health and safety,”

With trends showing an increase in positive drug test results, now is the time to ensure your potential new hire, or current employee pool is drug free. The only way to verify the trust between you and your team is to instill a drug testing policy. For information about pre employment drug testing, urinalysis tests, hair drug tests, or any employment verification services, please give us a call at 716-332-2274.

Employment Screening Services Launches A New Website

The launch of our new website has been a work in progress for quite some time. We welcome you to discover the new Employment Screening Services, as we continue to provide the direction and critical infrastructure to help take pre-employment screening to new levels.

We are extremely excited to share our new site with you, which represents an entirely updated face for ESS’s online presence. We feel incredibly proud of what is unfolding here. This has been a collaborative effort by our dedicated staff who contributed enormously to this project. We also benefitted greatly from the valuable input of our clients.  All of these people illustrate the best of what ESS truly is: dedicated, enthusiastic, and forward-looking. We thank and congratulate them all on a job well done!

We set out to energize our appearance, hoping to bring you a website that you can easily navigate and frequently visit. And we think we’ve accomplished just that. It has meant re-building what was already a complex and in-depth website and setting the stage for a brand new, user-friendly site. It is our hope that this site is one you will want to visit and one you will want to take with you on your tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

“New but better,” this is what we set out to achieve. The new site continues to provide all of the information and helpful tools previously accessible but includes many other new features.  One of which we are very proud of is our blog now named ESS xChange.  ESS xChange will be a perfect place for the sharing of industry ideas and advice.  Human Resources professionals from all over the world will be able to help one another navigate through the pre-employment screening process.  Look for Attorney’s, Human Resource Professionals, Compliance Specialists, Substance Abuse Experts and many others to share their expertise and experiences.

We are not going to stop here.  In the near future look for many new and innovative additions to our new website.