Brad Pistotnik Law
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Are Employers Liable for Negligent Hiring?

Are Employers Liable for Negligent Hiring?

Are employers liable for negligent hiring practices? What responsibilities do employers have in regard to ensuring their employees are competent to perform job functions and obey the law? Employers are required to thoroughly "vet" their employees background and qualifications prior to hiring. Failure to thoroughly research an employee can make an employer liable if the employee assaults or causes injury to another employee, vendor, customer, or member of the general public.

Understanding Negligent Hiring

Negligent hiring can involve failing to properly investigate an employee's background for instances of physical or sexual assault, convictions for violent crimes, drug/alcohol offenses, etc. Employers have a responsibility to check references and criminal records to ensure they don't hire an employee with a history of workplace violence. Employers have a duty of care to the general public to protect other workers, customers, vendors, etc. from potentially dangerous employees.

Employers also must verify that an employee has the required skills, education, and training to perform a job. For instance, commercial truck drivers must have a valid CDL, physicians must have the necessary education and licensure, and heavy equipment operators must have the appropriate license and/or certification.

Alarming Statistics to Note

It is common for people to lie on job applications. In 2003, it was estimated that 53% of job applications contained inaccurate information and 34% contained outright lies regarding education and skills. However, only 49% of 3,100 hiring managers that were polled by CareerBuilder in 2008 "caught" these types of fabrications.

Negligent hiring has a significant impact on workplace fatality rates. In 2017, workplace violence caused 16% of worker fatalities. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics gathered from 2011-2015 shows that about 1 in every 6 of these is caused by a co-worker or associate. Data from the FBI gathered a decade ago showed that about 5% of all businesses will experience an event of workplace violence in any given year.

A total of 40% of fatalities involved transportation accidents, 14% involved contact with objects and equipment, and 10% involved exposure to toxic substances. Many of these fatalities are caused by employees with inadequate training, education, and experience.

Establishing Employer Liability

Negligent hiring occurs when the employer owed the injured or deceased individual a duty of care, and this duty was breached by the employer. It must also be established that the breach was reasonably foreseeable. Finally, the breach must result in injury to the plaintiff. When an employer is found liable for negligent hiring, they can be required to compensate the injured party for their injuries, pain and suffering, and pay any punitive damages a jury awards.

Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. We represent clients who are injured by the negligent actions of others in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Texas. We give emergency legal consultations on weekends, holidays and at night. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.