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Las Vegas private investigator hired to surveil employees working from home

Posted at 2:29 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 00:19:25-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — De Becker Investigations in Las Vegas does a lot of undercover work. Founder Hal De Becker says his private investigation firm specializes in surveillance and it has been busy amid the pandemic.

Some of his latest work includes checking on employees who say they're working from home, but their boss isn't sure if it's the truth.

"About two and a half weeks ago, we started receiving a high volume of calls from companies that are concerned that their employees that were getting paid to work from home were not working at all," De Becker said. "Another concern was that the hours these employees were submitting at the end of the week just weren't consistent."

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So far, De Becker says his company has looked into eight employees, and one of them was being honest about working from home.

The others were caught on camera hiking, playing tennis, and golfing.

"One employee actually ran off the golf course to take an unscheduled FaceTime call from his employer, our client," De Becker said.

NPR reports that demand for tracking software has also tripled. It can monitor your mouse movements, keystrokes, and web pages.

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Many employees may think the practice is intrusive. Human resource managers point out that most employers already use some level of tracking for email and browser history.

"In your employee handbooks, it's very common to say don't expect any privacy," said Julie Schweber, senior knowledge adviser with Society for Human Resource Management. "Any personal stuff that you're using, it may be discovered. It may come out for a variety of reasons. Keep your personal stuff personal is always a good practice, from an employee perspective."