Employee Conflict of Interest

    thumb_investigationsA conflict of interest is a situation that may arise in which an individual is in a position where they could exploit their professional capacity in order to receive a personal benefit.

    The most common form of conflict of interest we see in today’s business environment is “moonlighting” — employees uses the skills & training (and often the tools and equipment) they received from their employer and running a competing business; they often work in the evening (hence the term moonlighting) and on weekends, from their home.

    Business Challenge

    Conflicts of interest can arise innocently, but employers must react quickly.

    Every employer has their own “tricks of the trade“, the little differences that separate them from their competitors. When an employer hires a new employee, they make a significant investment in training the employee, but they also are taking a risk because they are showing the new hire “how the sausage gets made”.

    Most employers do not take it lightly that they are sharing their most valuable secrets with their employees. If fact, many employers require new employees to sign a non-compete agreement because they fear their employees taking their trade secrets and business methods to a competitor.

    Business Solution

    When an employee decides to set up their own shop, or starts posting suspicious advertisements on craigslist, we have the tools and experience to catch them in the act and provide you with actionable evidence. If necessary, we are capable of interviewing employees suspected of having a conflict of interest and obtaining a written declaration.

    Case Study

    A post-production film studio noticed that one of their editors had set up a competing website, offering post-production work on films at a substantially lower price than his employer.

    Our investigators were able to determine that the perpetrator was not only competing with his employer, he was using his employer’s editing bays, software and equipment to complete work for his side business!

    We obtained a declaration from the employee, taken under the penalty of perjury, in which he outlined how he was able to get away with using his employer’s equipment for unauthorized assignments. The employee was terminated without incident and security procedures were changed to make sure it wouldn’t happen again with another employee.