Negligent Hiring

What’s the liability associated with not screening applicants?

Negligent hiring is a legal theory under which employers can be held liable for the unlawful or improper actions of their applicants if it can be shown that they failed to make “reasonable” inquiries into the applicant’s background and suitability for the position.

Most negligent hiring lawsuits maintain that the employer failed to conduct appropriate research, such as a criminal record history, employment verification and other background information, that would have disclosed the applicant’s past misconduct, and that, therefore, the employer was negligent for putting a person with criminal or other inappropriate tendencies, in a position where they could pose a threat to co-workers, customers or members of the general public.

Under the theory of negligent hiring, if the employer knew, or should have known, of the risk presented by the applicant, the employer can be held liable. Employers found negligent in the hiring process have been subject to substantial financial penalties including both actual and punitive damages, which are now reaching hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.

At Clarifacts, we are diligent about staying up-to-date on background check compliance, as regulations can change from state to state and at the federal level quite often.

To get more information on how negligent hiring affects your organization, contact us at 800.318.0553.