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Theft in the Workplace

Theft in the workplace is commonly estimated to cost between $30 billion and $40 billion a year in the U.S. That is in cash, goods and property. These figures are based on a 1975 report by the American Management Association in New York, which judged the loss as due to these 11 “nonviolent crimes”: employee pilferage, kickbacks or bribery, security theft and fraud, embezzlement, rson, burglary, vandalism, shoplifting, insurance fraud, check fraud, and credit-card fraud. What’s more, there are employee behaviors labeled “intangible crime” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or “time theft” by Robert Half International, headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif. Robert Half estimates that time theft costs U.S. businesses $230 billion a year. These crimes cover the fake sick day, getting someone else to punch in your card on the time clock, making personal telephone calls, conducting private business in the workplace. There is tremendous argument over whether unauthorized telephone calls to home or any of these other activities should be toted as part of theft loss.

Parade Magazine, May 27, 1990, p. 7

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