Negligent hiring – A legal claim made against an employer by a damaged employee/client who claims that the employer either knew about or should have known about a situation in the employee’s past that indicates they may be violent or untrustworthy.
Most businesses and organizations are familiar with negligent hiring. But are all taking the necessary steps to avoid bad hires? No employer is invulnerable to litigation resulting from negligent hiring practices. And in a weak economy, with theft and violent incidents increasing, it’s essential for employers to establish effective risk prevention measures.
As a result of negligent hiring, a company can be sued if an employee injures or harms another employee/client, especially if the company could have foreseen a problem but did not do a thorough check of the new employee before hiring. It’s necessary for employers to perform due diligence by conducting background checks on every employee hired, regardless of the size of their workforce. If the background check fails to reveal such information, companies can hire the individual without being considered negligent.
Companies could dispute that the cost of conducting background checks is prohibitive. But the cost of not performing due diligence resulting in negligent hiring can be far greater. Violence, theft, and drug use are reasons alone to prescreen applicants. Even if an applicant is a referral, it doesn’t mean he or she is a quality employee. Further, the consequences of shortcutting these simple steps can be devastating — ranging from massive financial settlements, bad publicity, and, in the worst case, loss of life.