Employers have a duty to protect their employees and customers from predictable employee actions, and they can be held accountable for known facts, or those that should have been known, regarding an employee's disposition or work-related experience.
Negligent hiring happens when a business chooses not to contact a new employee's former employers, check references, and run a background check before hiring the employee. A recent study shows that over 16,000 threats are made at the jobsite each workday, and 13 people are killed as a result of workplace aggression each week.
Negligent hiring is based on the theory that employers have a commitment to defend their staff and clients from harm caused by their employees. An employer can be found guilty of negligent hiring practices if they have any inkling that the employee may create a hostile work environment or if they simply blow off the entire background verification process, and that employee proceeds to harm a fellow worker.
The employer is never assumed to be negligent prior to bringing the employee onboard if a properly conducted background check demonstrates that the prospective employee is suitable for the specific position being offered and shows no signs that they may be incompatible with other workers. Employers must exhibit due diligence by performing background checks on each and every job candidate no matter the overall size of the corporation. No employer is exempt from a lawsuit stemming from negligent hiring.
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