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Chamber of Commerce Insults America, Claims “75 Percent of All Employees Steal at Least Once, and That Half of These Steal Repeatedly.”

A brutally insulting “study” has been released by the anti-worker Chamber of Commerce and is being promoted in the pages of the fiercely anti-union Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) magazine, according to a source with a copy of the publication.

The intention of the featured article was to promote a survey that claims it,

provides companies a structured interview process and attitude assessment to objectively obtain better information, identify the best candidates and conduct better interviews. The survey evaluates job applicants’ integrity and attitudes towards substance abuse, reliability and work ethic. SOSII helps employers protect company assets against theft, fraud, embezzlement and inefficiency.

The article cites a U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimate “that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once, and that half of these steal repeatedly.”

Main “findings” are presented as “myths” not to be believed. They include:

Myth 1: We are careful in the selection of our employees! Naturally you are, but the majority of employees who steal are ‘first time offenders.’

Myth 2: We have our own security department! Last year, a western regional bank suffered a number of “ski-mask” robberies. When the robber was finally caught, he turned out to be the bank’s Director of Security!

Myth 3: Our computer systems have the latest in anti-hacking systems. That’s fine, but more than 65 percent of IT crime is traceable to insiders.

Myth 4: Our cameras and undercover agents catch most shoplifters. According to the National Retail Security Survey, 48 percent of merchandise losses are attributable to employees.

Myth 5: Our procedures are foolproof. Famous last words. Many of the largest frauds occur in companies who say precisely this. However effective the internal control and accounting system, it is not unbeatable.

Myth 6: We would not want to offend staff who have been with us for many years. Thoughtful and considerate, but employees rarely object.

Myth 7: We won’t be badly hurt by isolated incidents. Perhaps not. But most large losses are caused by long-term, ongoing schemes that are cleverly hidden for years.

Myth 8: We have never suffered a theft by an employee. That may be true, but the fact that you may never have had a fire or a vehicle involved in an accident, does not prevent you taking out property insurance. The first loss really hurts!

Myth 8a: We have never suffered a theft by an employee. Maybe you have, but you don’t know it yet. U.S. businesses lose as much as $110M dollars a day due to employee-related crimes. However, most employee theft goes undetected.

This atrocity of a suggestion, that literally three of every four people working in the U.S. is a thief, is ironic considering the degree to which employees are unprotected from employer theft of wages. One report, compiled by the Center for Urban Economic Development (UIC), National Employment Law Project (NELP), and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, found that:

Workplace violations are severe and widespread in the low-wage labor market. In our sample, 26% of low-wage workers were paid less than the minimum wage in the week prior to the survey, and 76% of those who worked more than 40 hours were not paid the legally required overtime rate.

Considering this study was conducted using 4,387 workers in low-wage industries in the three largest U.S. cities-Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City, one can only assume the problem is exacerbated in areas where oversight and a culture of taking action against companies (workers representation, activism) are less prominent.

To be sure, wage theft stories pop up daily (search We Party Patriots for them here) and represent a far greater danger to companies than someone pulling $5 out of the cash drawer. The Chamber of Commerce and ABC should be ashamed of themselves for stating these dubious claims as anything other than propaganda to sell a survey service.


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