Last year, Charlotte County launched an investigation into exactly how accurate their employee’s self-reporting was with disturbing results. The investigation was in response to a county employee’s arrest in June of 2011. Stephen Archer, a mosquito sprayer for the county was pulled over in Sarasota County, more than 45 miles from Charlotte, for speeding in his employer’s vehicle. The officers found two opened beer bottles in the bed of the truck. The county-owned truck was impounded and Archer was arrested for drunk driving. Although he quit before he could be fired for the incident, the employee’s behavior was enough to raise concerns about how the other mosquito sprayers were managing their responsibilities.
The county attached GPS tracking devices to their vehicles and monitored their employee’s movements over a 10-day period. In that time, two employees managed to spend more than 20 hours running personal errands, or otherwise non-work-related activities. The employees, who were paid between $15 and $25 per hour, also lied about their whereabouts on their time sheets. The GPS tracking data showed more than 32 unauthorized trips over the 10-day period, including trips to their own homes, private homes, and 12 recorded trips to North Port.
On June 15, 2011, one of the employees took a four hour trip, apparently to nowhere. The GPS tracking records appear to show mindless driving, but it is impossible to know the exact reason behind the long, unauthorized trip. The employees were officially fired on August 16, 2011 for lying on their time sheets and receiving payment for time not worked. Prior to this investigation, Charlotte County employed eight part-time mosquito sprayers. They are now down to five. GPS fleet tracking is a great way to monitor employee activity. In an ideal world, employers could trust the honor system, but as investigations like this reveal, reality is often far from ideal.