Employee Hotlines: An Effective Crime Deterring Tool?
As most business owners are aware, implementing change can be difficult. Maintaining best practices is something that every business needs to promote and can benefit from. One such example is creating an employee hotline. With the implementation of hotlines, fraud can be reduced and tips can be given anonymously to report any unlawful or suspicious behavior. While not all procedures are easily enforced, consider the usage of effective employee hotlines to reduce Employment Practices Liability.
Moving toward hotlines seems to be a logical decision as they are inexpensive and easily executed. Further, they provide numerous benefits for the company. For example, the ACEF wrote in its 2014 Report to the Nations, “Organizations with hotlines are much more likely to catch fraud by a tip, which data shows is the most effective way to detect fraud” and “losses due to each fraud incident are reduced by an average of forty-one percent, and are detected fifty percent more quickly when a hotline is in place.”
What’s more, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated the following in regards to implementing such tactics in the workplace:
“The employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: 1) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.”
Therefore, illegal and malicious activity can be reported via these hotlines, which can also help the business in the event of a lawsuit. As an employer, it is important to determine which method is best suited for the employees- an internal hotline or an independent hotline. As many calls are often left anonymously, the internal one may not be trusted. Rather, an independent line that can be reached via a phone number, a fax, an email address, or a website contact form might be better in terms of privacy. When someone wants to provide valuable feedback, multiple channels should be available to them.
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