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Negligent hiring makes hiring more risky

July 10, 2012

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner AdvanceHR

Negligent hiring lawsuits: They’re becoming popular among people who are harmed when an employee acts irresponsibly.

With more and more cases of negligent hiring heard in courtrooms, here are some common guidelines courts use to decide these cases.

Courts ask you to take “due care” when hiring employees. Due care is the care ordinarily careful persons exercise under similar circumstances.

Should you be hauled into court on negligent hiring charges, the court will closely examine your hiring practices. The court wants to know that your hiring practices are in line with standard hiring practices of the business community.

Courts ask these questions:

  • Did you have reason to know of the applicant’s particular unfitness or dangerous characteristics?
  • Could you have reasonably foreseen that the applicant’s unfitness created a risk of harm to others?
  • Did the applicant’s unfitness cause the injury?

Because the background check is increasingly common in the business world, it is likely to be a major “due care” standard against which courts measure your hiring practices. Courts will want to know whether you investigated an applicant’s background with the same thoroughness common throughout the business community.

Courts ask if you checked out such suspicious factors like short residency periods, employment gaps or the applicant’s admission of prior criminal convictions.

What to do: Carefully check all job applications. If applicants leave questions unanswered, press them for responses. Confirm the accuracy of all of the answers of the person you intend to hire. Do a thorough background and credentials check on all persons you intend to hire.

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