Every company needs to hire workers to sustain growth and operate properly. It is inevitable that at some point a firm will make a bad hire for a number of different reasons.
Bad hires can cause significant damage (both financially and otherwise) to any firm. In addition to all of the other issues that can arise, employers need to be cognizant of the fact that they can be sued for negligent hiring.
What is a negligent hiring lawsuit?
A negligent hiring lawsuit can arise against an employer who hires an employee that harms a third party and the employer knew or should have known that the employee could potentially have brought about such harm. The rewards, which average $1M USD or more, can cripple an employer.
What is negligence?
At this point, it might be useful to explain what negligence means within the context of the law. Negligence can be defined as the “Failure by action, behavior, or response, willful or not, to maintain the expected care required from a reasonable, prudent person under the circumstances .” In other words, this means that a person acted or behaved in a way that a reasonable and prudent person would not have under similar circumstances.
The “reasonable and prudent” language here refers to the standard of care that is required of someone when determining whether he or she has been negligent. A person must act as a reasonable and prudent person or his or her actions or behavior could give rise to a claim of negligence.
Example in the workplace
The following example will help to illustrate how not doing due diligence and performing background checks on incoming employees can affect an employer. Let’s say a company hires a new employee to work in their office.
On paper this employee has a good resume with an impressive educational background and work experience. Once this employee begins working in the office, he begins exhibiting signs of antisocial behavior and brings down the overall atmosphere of the workplace. Finally, after 3 months of working at this company, he gets into a heated argument with his superior and ends up punching him.
At this point it comes to light that the employee has a rather extensive criminal history containing acts of violence. Based on these events, the supervisor has a strong case to win a negligent hiring lawsuit against the company that hired the employee. The company hired that employee without conducting a criminal background check. Due to this oversight, an employee was hired who posed a risk to his fellow co-workers in the office.
How to prevent negligent hiring lawsuits
The events described above could have been avoided if the company had done its due diligence and performed a criminal background check on the employee prior to the employee beginning work in the office. By using a solution such as Emptor’s background check and ID validation, companies can easily mitigate hiring risks and negligent hiring lawsuits.