Fraud Facts

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The management of Human Resources requires the HR practitioner to balance somewhat conflicting responsibilities. We must provide services that enhance effective, positive, pro-active employee engagement and, at the same time, ensure that all employees are compliant with organizational rules, standards and legislative requirements. Unfortunately the compliance requirements usually tip the scales into a negative perception of the Human Resources role and, sometimes, create an echoing negative response on the part of the HR practitioner.

Why? The Human Resources function often exposes the ugly side of human behaviour. We deal with people who are not at their best when they, as employees, engage in activities such as fraud or theft within the workplace. This behaviour seems particularly problematic when linked to workers’ compensation systems and the numerous parties accessing the benefits that these systems provide. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of suspicion and cynicism if we start to perceive that all employees are not at their best.

Fraudulent behaviour does happen and is perpetrated by some individuals. Occupational Health and Safety lawyer, Norm Keith, explores some of the specifics related to fraudulent workers’ compensation systems behaviours on the part of some employees, some employers and some third party medical practitioners.

Click here to read the article.

Mr. Keith advocates for the development of a whistleblower reward program that would support and compensate individuals who come forward to report on those who are stealing from workers’ compensation systems. This is an interesting concept as it would allow for an increased responsibility for sharing ethical and legally compliant behaviours among all participants in a compensation system.

In the meantime this reporting responsibility continues to fall on the role of the Human Resources practitioner. We are the ones, especially if the health and safety function falls within our scope of duties, who must report and deal with the consequence of unethical and potentially fraudulent workplace behaviour. These are moral, ethical and legal obligations that deserve to be upheld in all workplaces.

At the same time we must remember that this type of behaviour is not the norm for the average employee, employer or medical practitioner. As such, we must continue to find the delicate balance within ourselves and in support of our professional roles.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify three ways an employee, an employer and a medical practitioner could engage in fraudulent activities through a workers’ compensation system.
  2. Defrauding a workers’ compensation system is not a ‘victimless crime.’ Who is impacted by workers’ compensation fraud?
  3. As a Human Resources professional, what steps will you take when an employee comes forward with an allegation of workers’ compensation fraud by a co-worker?

Chipping In?

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Africa Studio/Shutterstock

We microchip our pets. Looks like it’s time to microchip our people.

Human chip tracking systems have arrived. This technology is already implanted, implemented and being used in the workplace around the world.

Click Here to Read the Article and Watch the Clip

From the perspective of a ‘bio-hacker,’ the introduction of a microchip under the skin for employees seems to be a logical thing. An implanted RFID appears to make a human’s work-life easier by allowing for automatic interaction with numerous electronic devices. Employees can access the ‘internet of things’ without needing to remember passcodes in their brains or carry key-cards on their persons. Opening locked doors, turning on the computer or accessing a code-only photocopier now requires a simple swipe of one’s hand near the device and, presto, it works! It works because each microchip is coded with the individual employee’s personal identification.

Bio-devices such as microchips can measure and track anything and anyone.

This is where the ethical boundaries may start to become a bit fuzzy. If an implanted microchip is used by employees to access employer devices, it surely can be used by the employer to access and track employee behaviour.

When our pets get lost, they can be found thanks to microchip technology. When an employee is ‘lost,’ or absent from work for an unknown reason, will an employer resist the temptation to track the absent employee’s whereabouts through similar human microchip technology?

As HR professionals, we need to be ready to deal with the moral and ethical impact of this type of interactive and intrusive technology, today.

After all, we will be swiping open the doors to a very brave new world, tomorrow.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What types of employee tracking would benefit an employer using human microchip technology to monitor the workforce?
  2. Would you agree to have a microchip implanted in your hand as a condition of employment? Why or why not?
  3. What types of benefits are there for employees to have implanted microchip technology?