Prevent Employee Time Theft

Key Points

  • Employee time theft (e.g., tending to nonworking matters while "on the clock") lessens productivity and results in increased costs for the employer.
  • An employer should identify employee triggers and guard against common temptations, such as Cyber Monday, March Madness or the availability of fantasy sports leagues. An employer should develop and enforce policies and work rules to address time theft and "cyber-slacking." Relevant policies may address surveillance, internet use and gambling.
  • An employer should communicate its expectations to employees with regard to productivity goals and workplace rules. When necessary, an employer should discipline employees engaging in time theft fairly and consistently according to workplace rules, policies and procedures. Failing to enforce disciplinary rules may lead to lower employee morale and increased turnover, resulting in even higher employer losses.

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