Negligent hiring claims continue to soar with each passing year, making employers reluctant to recruit new workers. If an employer fears of legal action taken against them, he or she will be less willing to hire new workers. But what exactly is a negligent hiring claim? And what steps can employers take to protect themselves from this action? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.
Negligent Hiring: The Basics
Negligent hiring occurs when an employer hires a worker who poses a risk to the company and/or its employees. It’s the employer’s responsibility to taken certain measures to ensure new job recruits don’t pose a direct risk to the company and its employees. Turning a blind eye to job candidate’s background won’t work, because ignorance is never an excuse for the law.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, Haphazard Pre-Employment Screening Puts Healthcare Organizations at Risk, roughly 1 in 5 healthcare providers fail to test job candidates for illegal drug use. That’s a pretty shocking statistic that should serve as a real eye-opener to anyone working in the healthcare field. A prime example of a negligent hiring claim would be a patient who receives the wrong treatment from a nurse who tested positive for illegal drug use.
Both employers and background check companies must be rigorous about staying current with new and pending legislation. There are a myriad of laws that protect the candidate and it’s critical to be on top of this.
So, how much can damage can a negligent hiring claim cause? There’s really no limit, as each and every case is different. If a patient suffers permanent injury as a result of the employer’s hiring negligence, the courts may force the company to pay hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in damages. The bottom line is that you should take measures to protect your business against such claims.
Tips To Protect Against Negligent Hiring Claims:
- Use comprehensive employee background check services on new job candidates. This will yield invaluable information about the individual’s criminal record (if he or she has one).
- Be diligent. Ban-the-box laws have increased significantly at the state and local level.
- Background screening isn’t something that should be limited strictly for new employees; employers should also re-screen existing workers to ensure they don’t pose a risk to the company and its employees.
- Familiarize yourself with the proper way to obtain employee background checks. Understand there are not just federal laws but also state laws that vary greatly between states.
- Train each employee so they understand background checks must be consistent with each potential hire. Assuming you’re hiring for the same position, you cannot verify education on one potential hire and not the other.
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