Years ago, Bill learned his lesson, which is the fact that you just can't take anything at face value, especially people. Like all of those lessons that last a lifetime, Bill learned this information the hard way.
It happened when he hired two new employees for the city courts system. There had not been enough time to adequately complete the HR due diligence checklist including background investigations, as Bill and his staff would normally do with new hires. At the time, the offices for the heavily populated city were grossly understaffed. The employees were all stressed out and overworked. All anybody wanted, at that time, were a couple of warm bodies to sit in front of the telephones and computers.
As luck would have it, one of the employees worked out just fine. The second employee, however, turned out to be a total nightmare:
- Within the first six months, she filed sexual harassment charges against one of the bailiffs.
- She then claimed to have fallen in the stairwell and been so severely injured that she could not perform her duties.
- She filed for workman's compensation.
Both situations immediately meant the city was looking at thousands of dollars if she was successful in her claims, stretching an already tight budget to a breaking point. Bill was kicking himself for not following the due diligence process.
Though everyone knew the sexual harassment allegation carried no weight, the defense attorney still had to be hired. Since the employee so conveniently claimed that she fell in the stairwell, there were no cameras to study.
Bill was fed up fast with the whole scam so his attorney suggested calling .
With access to high level data bases, their investigators began the overdue employee background check. They discovered that this employee had made a career of filing false claims which were then settled out of court. While not usually called theft in the workplace, that was what Bill considered it. He felt taking money out of the budget for this sort of claim, especially when it was false, was the equivalent of an employee stealing from the company, or, in this case, the town.
This was not her first rodeo with drawing workman's compensation, either. Bill was convinced it would be proven to be workers compensation fraud, they just needed evidence.
Immediately, it was decided that investigators would conduct physical electronic surveillance. Less than a week later, that terribly injured employee was videotaped and photographed as she played a rowdy tennis match. She even smiled and waved to the camera. Physical evidence, including color photographs and covert surveillance video, provided the facts that Bill immediately submitted to the insurance company.
When it comes to gathering the facts, leads the way.
-Brenda McGinley, CEO, All in Investigations, All in Investigations