Negligent Hiring: What Is the Employer Risk?

ImageMost businesses and organizations are familiar with negligent hiring. But are all taking the necessary steps to avoid potential bad hires? What companies don’t know about a job applicant can hurt them.  No employer is invulnerable to litigation resulting from negligent hiring practices. In a struggling economy where theft, violent incidents and thefts are on the rise, employers need to establish effective risk prevention measures. Negligent hiring resulting from one bad hire can land a business in a lawsuit, resulting in potentially detrimental consequences and damage to a company’s reputation.

As a result of negligent hiring, a company can be subject to employer liability if an employee injures or harms another employee, especially if the company could have foreseen a problem, but did not do a thorough background check of the employee prior to hire. Employers are held accountable by courts for negligent actions of an employee, especially when information was available that employee was unfit for the job.

Employers should conduct background checks on every employee hired, regardless of workforce and business size. If an applicant is unsuitable for the job or employment in general, a background check is likely to disclose this. If the background check fails to reveal such information, companies can hire the individual without being considered for negligent retention.

While many negligent hiring claims involve drastic but isolated incidents of employee violent conduct, the risk of being a defendant against such claims and the damaging consequences surrounding them far outweigh the time and cost of taking the steps to prevent them. As a general rule, a company’s first line of defense is to identify high-risk applicants before making hiring decisions.

Employers never want to say “we should have known” when it relates to an employee’s behavior or inexcusable act. But employers with a solid pre-employment background check program can greatly reduce exposure to negligent hiring lawsuits. Employers do have a legal obligation to protect their employees, third-parties, and community from any foreseeable acts of an employee.

One Response to Negligent Hiring: What Is the Employer Risk?

  1. Chester Liam says:

    A thorough background check is a great practice to avoid bad hires. We don’t need to rush just to fill out the vacant positions, it’s important to screen the best and make sure that the human resource personal what exactly the business is needed. Applicants who have competency, skills, good attitude and dedication to work are good for hire. These kinds of people are the ones we should look up to.

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