Employers Can Be Sued For Negligent Hiring
March 3, 2004
By Rory Montez
Negligent hiring litigation is a growing problem, and it’s going to eventually catch-up to employers that do not perform background checks!
No employer is immune from a lawsuit resulting from negligent hiring practices.
If you hire someone and fail to use “reasonable care” to verify their fitness for duty, an individual could sustain injury as a result of the employee’s negligence. Thirteen people die each week as a result of workplace violence, according to a recent study by a leading Human Resources publication. More than 16,000 threats are made in the workplace every workday.
If you are aware, or have reason to believe your employee is unfit for duty, you can be held liable for negligent hiring.
What is Negligent Hiring?
Negligent hiring is based on the principal that employers have an obligation to protect their employees and clients from injury caused by their employees. Employers have an obligation to protect their employees and third parties from the "foreseeable" acts of an employee. Negligent hiring occurs when a company fails to contact an applicant's former employers, check references, or conduct a criminal background check prior to hiring the employee.
It's important that employers perform their due diligence by conducting background checks on every employee hired, regardless of the size their workforce. Prior to hiring a prospective employee, perform a background check.
If an applicant is unsuitable for the specific work to be performed, or for employment in general, a professional background check is likely to reveal this information. If the background check fails to reveal such information, you can hire the employee without being presumed negligent.
Employers can be held liable for facts that are known or "should have been known" regarding an employee's character or job-related experience. By retaining a qualified employment background screening company, you can protect yourself and your business from this dangerous liability.