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

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?

The Changing American Diet

See what we ate on an average day, for the past several decades.

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?

We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.