Problematic databases used to track employee theft

Posted to Data Sharing  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

Employee theft accounts for billions of dollars of lost merchandise per year, so it’s a huge concern for retailers, but it often goes unreported as a crime. If only there were reference databases where business owners could report offenders and look up potential employees to see if they have ever stole anything. It turns out there are, but the systems have proved to be problematic.

“We’re not talking about a criminal record, which either is there or is not there — it’s an admission statement which is being provided by an employer,” said Irv Ackelsberg, a lawyer at Langer, Grogan & Diver who represents Ms. Goode.

Such statements may contain no outright admission of guilt, like one submitted after Kyra Moore, then a CVS employee, was accused of stealing: “picked up socks left them at the checkout and never came back to buy them,” it read. When Ms. Moore later applied for a job at Rite Aid, she was deemed “noncompetitive.” She is suing Esteem.

On paper, the data sounds great for business owners, and keeping such data also seems like a fine business to run. Thefts go down and owners can focus on other aspects of their business. The challenge and complexity comes when we remember that people are involved.

Favorites

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Where Bars Outnumber Grocery Stores

A closer look at the age old question of where there are more bars than grocery stores, and vice versa.

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.