WHAT IS NEGLIGENT HIRING?
"Negligent Hiring" is the common term referring to the trend of courts holding employers liable for the acts of their employees. This stems from the concept that the background of the employee contains facts that should have disqualified them for the position in which they were placed.

WHO IS AFFECTED BY NEGLIGENT HIRING CONSEQUENCES?
The potential of an organization's employees to defraud, harm or injure a customer, co-worker, or member of the public, makes no employer immune to Negligent Hiring liability. Consider the following examples:

    • A driver with a history of recklessness behind the wheel.
    • A salesperson with a background of violent assault.
    • A bookkeeper with a criminal history of repeated thefts.
    • A supervisor with past involvement in sexual harassment.
    • A professional without the qualifications or experience claimed on his/her resume.

These are all routine job openings filled every day with routine job candidates. Without proper background checks, all of these examples could all be the catalyst resulting in a Negligent Hiring lawsuit.

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO A NEGLIGENT HIRING LAWSUIT
Assume an employer failed to conduct a prudent, lawful and uniform background investigation that could have revealed problems concerning the above employees. If that driver later has an accident, that salesperson is involved in an altercation, that bookkeeper defrauds a client, or the supervisor harasses a co-worker, the employer may be held responsible for causing the situation for harm or injury.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR COMPANY FROM NEGLIGENT HIRING LIABILITIES
Obviously the answer is not to hire and place employment candidates with unacceptable backgrounds into positions of liability. Failure to check even basic references and records are leading causes for filling negligent hiring lawsuits after employee caused loss or injury.

To protect your company from hiring and placing an individual in a position whose past performance records could be instrumental in causing a Negligent Hiring lawsuit, background information should be obtained in a lawful, consistent and reliable manner. The records obtained should be deciphered, organized, and presented in a manner, enabling the hiring personnel to easily review and evaluate the information provided.

The background report should be consistant retained in case a Negligent Hiring suit is brought against your company in the future for actions of the employee. This report provides proof that the background of this individual was lawfully and responsibly researched for unacceptable trends.

PURPOSE OF A NEGLIGENT HIRING LAWSUIT
The only purpose of a Negligent Hiring lawsuit is to collect money from compensatory and/or punitive awards. An employer generally has greater assets "deeper pockets" than the employee, hence employer and employee are sued jointly to increase court or jury imposed awards.

CASE EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENT HIRING / EMPLOYMENT

° In Washington D.C. a grocery store deliveryman assaults a customer in her home while delivering a phone order.
--Fleming v. Bronfin
° A newly hired condominium maintenance man assaults a guest while she is alone in a resident's unit. The newly hired employee was a convicted felon of violent crimes and had spent time in a mental hospital.
--Williams v. Feather Sound, Inc.
° A passenger in a taxicab is injured when the cab driver suffers an epileptic fit and causes an accident. The cab company failed to check backgrounds of new hires.
--Wixhone v. Yellow Cab Co.
° A family is injured when a truck driver with an extensive driving record causes an accident.
--Petrick v. New Hampshire Insurance Co.
° A woman is raped in her residence by a security guard with a history of sexual harassment and discipline problems.
--Easley v. Apollo Detective Agency, Inc.
° A Florida church hired a minister on a recommendation. The minister sexually molested a dozen boys during sleepovers at his apartment. He had earlier confessed to a youth minister during previous employment that he struggled with temptation to sexually molest young boys.
--Artis v. Wayside Baptist Church
° A McDonald's employee sexually assaulted a three-year old customer on the property of the restaurant. If a background check had been done, a sexual assault conviction would have been found.
--Unknown v. McDonalds
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