Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Coronavirus Update 2-3-2021: Have you had to deal with “COVID fraud” in your workplace?

According to Vice, people are using photo editing software to doctor COVID test results.
"I just fired up photoshop and changed the date," wrote one man who had doctored results for an entire group of friends to Motherboard. "Fun fact, the document [test result] was in French whereas they were in Sweden the day it was supposedly made, but they didn't see a problem in that."

The other person took a slightly less sophisticated route and changed the date of an old test with Microsoft Paint for his vacation to Southern Europe.

Depending on a company's leave of absence policies, a particular employee's available paid leave, and an employee's financial situation, an employee may have a motivation to come to work ill with a fake negative test diagnosis. Alternatively, an employee might fake a positive test to gain a few days of paid time off. 

What steps can you take if you think an employee is faking a coronavirus diagnosis?
  • Pay attention to inconsistencies on notes and other documents in fonts and spacing, or grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Look for computer-generated, versus hand signatures.
  • Compare legitimate medical excuse letters from health care providers to be aware of their typical format and structure.
  • Contact the medical provider to authenticate the document (after first providing the employee the opportunity to authenticate).
If you confirm that the employee has lied to you, fire him or her immediately. No questions asked. Employees who knowingly come to work positive for, or symptomatic with, COVID-19 put all of your employees, customers, and your entire operation at risk. Employees who stay home with a fake illness are stealing from you. Either case is immediate grounds for termination.

Have you had to deal with an employee who presented a fake COVID-19 diagnosis or test result, positive or negative? If so, I'd love to read about it in the comments.

* Photo by Medakit Ltd on Unsplash