An employee on my team decided to run a superbowl pool and invited other employees into the pool (I was not made aware of the pool). The entry fee was $6; total payouts $550 with the remaining $50 going to her for running the pool. Three other team members had winning numbers, total payout $400. No one has been paid. The pool administrator used the funds collected for her own personal use and now cannot pay anyone. I feel this behavior is unscrupulous and fraudulent and I’d like to terminate the employee. There is a real integrity issue on the team but my HR department won’t support termination. How do I handle this?
Usually this would result in termination by HR. To give an example, someone at my job got fired because she kept stealing food from someone else's desk. They installed a camera to catch her, as the employee was wondering who kept stealing her energy bar.
As your HR does not support this claim as valid for termination, I would say to talk to your manager about her as you can't trust her anymore, and indirectly she destroys any teamwork. I think it will be difficult to have a productive team meeting if she's there with coworkers she stole from.
In the short term, the fact she stole from her coworkers will make her job a nightmare. To give another example from where I work, someone stole the coffee pot money - we have a good idea who it is, but as we don't have any proof we still talk about it 7 years later (and it was only a 30$ steal). Luckily for the one that stole, he got moved 3-4 months after the incident.
A talk with her would maybe clear up why she did it, maybe she has difficulty in her personal life, but the trust is lost, nothing will bring it back easily.