Are you aware that as an employer your employee can sue you….? Negligent Hiring
A legal claim against an employer by a damaged employee 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. An Employer can avoid negligent hiring claims by performing a background check, drug test and medical exams prior to hiring a new employee.
Protect your Business from Negligent Hiring Claims… Imagine This!
Imagine you own a small appliance repair shop. You send your new employee John to repair a long-time customer’s Generator one morning. That afternoon police officers arrive at your door looking for John. He is accused of sexually assaulting your customer while in her home.
Imagine instead that you own a gym. One evening two employees stay late to close. The next day, you learn that a violent physical altercation occurred between them, leaving one employee hospitalized.
Finally, imagine you own a small accounting firm. One day you receive a letter from a lawyer accusing your prior secretary of using your clients’ bank details to defraud them of millions of naira by declaring signed counterfeit checks.
Are You Liable or not?
If any of these allegations are true, as the business owner and employer, can you be liable for your employees’ criminal conduct? The answer will likely depend on whether or not you properly screened the employees prior to hiring them. If John had a prior sexual assault conviction, the gym employee a record of prior assaults, or the secretary a history of theft, your troubles are just beginning.
6 Ways to Protect Your Business
1. Create detailed employment applications. Potential employees should be required to complete and sign an application that asks about their education, prior addresses, prior employment, why the prior employment ended, and whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a criminal offense. The application should also indicate that by signing, the applicant is affirming the information provided is true and accurate, and authorizing the potential employer to obtain background information about the applicant.
2. Conduct thorough interviews. The formal interview is used to determine whether the applicant can successfully perform the job duties for the position being filled. But it can also provide a wealth of information about the potential employee and answer any questions you may have about information contained in the written application. Employers can inquire about gaps in employment history, whether he or she has ever been fired, and whether there are any criminal charges pending against the applicant.
3. Verify educational histories. This step is most important.
4. Check references. Many employers have a policy to disclose only a former employee’s position and dates of employment. However, some may and do reveal information that could help future employers determine whether an applicant is a good fit for a particular position.
5. Conduct background checks. A background check can help to verify the information contained in the application and interview, find criminal convictions, and check credit.
• Previous Employment
• Criminal Checks
• Credit Checks
• Address Confirmation
6. Require drug testing and/or physicals. A mandatory drug test by a reputable facility can eliminate drug users from your applicant pool.