*NEWS*STEALING OFFICE SUPPLIES ……..

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*NEWS*STEALING OFFICE SUPPLIES ……..

 user 2006-06-09 at 11:11:00 am Views: 57
  • #15718

    Young Workers More Likely to Steal Office Supplies
    SAN
    FRANCISCO (June 06) — Younger workers are more likely to make off with
    office supplies for personal use than older workers, and they’re less
    prone to feel guilty about it, according to a new survey.Nearly one in
    five, or 18%, of workers report having taken office supplies for
    personal use in the past year, according to a survey of 1,630 employed
    adults in the U.S. from staffing agency Spherion Corp. and Harris
    Interactive.
    Which objects hitch a ride home with them?
    “Pens,
    notepads, the occasional stapler,” said Joelly Saber, practice director
    of professional services for Spherion (SFN) , based in Ft. Lauderdale.
    “Maybe an occasional mouse pad, those little staple-remover things,
    manila file folders. I know I’ve done some envelopes.”"We were
    surprised to see people are honestly admitting to it,” she said. “It
    looks like most people don’t really consider it stealing.”Of course,
    some employers may beg to differ, and are within their legal rights to
    do so, said Anthony Oncidi, an employment partner with Proskauer Rose,
    a law firm in Los Angeles.In most cases, an employer wouldn’t fire a
    worker for taking a notepad, he said. “But if they decide for whatever
    reason that was a problem, they could. At-will employees can be fired
    for good reason, bad reason or no reason at all.”The urge to pilfer
    appears to fade with age, unless younger people just ‘fess up to it
    more readily. Nearly a quarter of workers 18 to 29 report that they
    have taken supplies from the office within the past year, compared with
    13% of workers age 50 and over, the survey said.Overall, one in 10 U.S.
    workers surveyed doesn’t believe taking office supplies for their own
    use is wrong. Seventeen percent of those 18 to 29 were unapologetic
    versus 7% of older workers at least 50, according to Spherion.Whether
    intentional or not, young workers may practice more of the grab and go
    style of office-supply nabbing in their quest to work hard, make an
    impression and move up the career ladder, Saber said.”It seems to be
    the younger folks are trying to prove themselves more,” she said.
    “They’re newer to the workforce. They’re putting in a lot of hours;
    some are traveling quite a bit and commuting. With that go some of the
    office supplies.”Some also may be working from home or making
    themselves available off hours via mobile phones and laptops, thus
    blurring the boundaries between when they’re on duty and off.The
    financial value of purloined office supplies tends not to exceed $10 to
    $ 15 per episode, Saber said, so most companies don’t suffer a
    significant hit.But a retailer or other low profit-margin business, for
    example, may see a cumulative impact if enough people take desk items
    here and there, Ondici said.Some employers monitor public supply rooms
    or closets with surveillance cameras to determine if they’re leaking
    money through small-scale thefts and to find who’s responsible, he
    said. “It does indicate to the employer I think there may be a problem
    of trustworthiness.”But managers who go so far as to terminate an
    employee for taking office supplies need to be careful that they apply
    consequences fairly, Ondici said. Otherwise they may invite a lawsuit
    if the employee perceives he is being set up for discrimination.”The
    less serious the violation the more likely the employee will assert the
    reason is a pretext for some other motivation,” he said.Employers also
    would be wise to ask for an explanation before jumping to conclusions,
    Ondici said.”Most employees with Blackberries and cell phones and so on
    do not leave their job at the office door when they leave,” he said.
    “If there is some arguable work-related reason for taking the office
    supplies, you can assume the employee will assert that. That’s why an
    employer would be well advised to get an explanation from the employee
    as to what they were doing before taking some drastic action such as
    terminating.”Still, most employers aren’t staking out their supply
    rooms in search of perps, Saber said. “I think they’re more concerned
    with the science projects in the refrigerator … the stuff that gets
    left behind for weeks.”