EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND CHECKS
Employer Liability arising from not conducting a complete employment screening background check.
A growing body of case law referred to as Negligent Hiring Practices holds companies responsible for the misdeeds of employees working on their premises or working anywhere on the company’s behalf who, based upon their prior history could have been expected to act irresponsibly or illegally.
Companies lose about 79 percent of negligent hiring lawsuits brought against them.
Negligent hiring case law provides that anyone injured by an employee’s misdeeds such as another employee, customer, or a member of the public, would be in a position to collect damages from the company as a result of its negligent hiring practices.
The company’s primary defense in such a suit is to show that it used due diligence in checking the employee’s background prior to hiring.
Here are a couple of examples of serious consequences arising from the failure to properly screen an employee:
In the recent Giant 7 billion dollar award levied against Spectrum/Charter, the company was found liable for not properly screening an employee.
The complaint against Charter from the victim’s family said the cable company got rid of an employee screening program that Time Warner Cable had in place when Charter bought the multiple-system operator in 2016.
In another negligent hiring case, an officer who was seriously injured when a taxi driver allegedly shot him in the head is suing the Alexandria Yellow Cab company for 10 million dollars, alleging negligent hiring.
Kashif Bashir allegedly shot Alexandria police Officer Peter Laboy in the head Feb. 27 2013 as Laboy attempted a routine stop of Bashir’s taxi. Bashir was charged with aggravated malicious wounding, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and two counts of using a weapon in the commission of a felony.
Prior to the Feb. 27 incident, Bashir had been convicted or charged with more than a dozen violations during the past few years, including:
• Failure to obey a traffic signal, 2007
• Speeding, 2009
• Failure to pay attention, 2012
• Failure to obey a highway sign, 2012
• Tampering with a vehicle, 2011
• Speeding, 2007
• Failure to wear seat belt, 2007
• Failure to pay full time and attention, 2010
• Speeding, 2011
• Failure to obey a traffic signal, 2013
• Violation of good behavior on a misdemeanor offense
• Illegal sale of unapproved equipment
• Misdemeanor assault, 2011
There are really two points here. The first is that companies that elect not to screen prospective employees at all put the public at risk, resulting in a 10 million dollar negligent hiring lawsuit against the employer.
It also seems to prove that often, past is indeed prologue.
The propensity for people who frequently commit crimes often commit progressively worse crimes.
Something that should be considered when evaluating an applicants criminal record background check and driving record.