The Risk of Negligent Hiring and How to Prevent It
Written By Lucas Kibby
Employers have the right to learn more about the candidates. They also have the right to ensure that a potential new hire does not have anything worrisome in their past that could potentially harm the business or employees.
The flip side to this is that failing to conduct background checks can be costly to your business. Negligent hiring is a claim made by an injured party against an employer based on the theory that the employer knew or should have known about the employee’s background, which may indicate a dangerous or untrustworthy character.
Most employers would not knowingly put an individual to work if they thought the person in question was a threat to their employees, customers, or the organization as a whole. Business take great care in building their employee family and who to adopt into this family. It’s the precautions that organizations fail to take that get them into trouble.
The Risk of Negligent Hiring
You’ve made sure the client is qualified for the tasks required of the position, but your job shouldn’t end there. It is equally important to ensure that the new hire is not a threat to either your employees or customers.
The risk associated with a failure to properly vet incoming employees is too high to ignore. In a more competitive job market, individuals are likely to embellish or hide certain information in order to appear attractive to recruiters.
Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 50 percent of all resumes and applications contain false information. What could they be hiding?
According to the Justice Department Bureau of Justice Statistic Workplace Violence (1993-2009), as many as 572,000 non-fatal crimes occurred in the American workplace in a single year. In many of these cases, the violence could have been prevented by conducting background checks to determine if any potential new hires had criminal records.
The Department of Justice claims workplace violence accounts for 18 percent of all violent crimes. The University of Florida stated, “According to a national survey, American retail employees stole $10.4 billion in a one-year period.” The U.S. Department of Commerce identifies employee theft as the cause of 33 percent of all business failures.
What can organizations do to mitigate the risk?
Courts looks at not only what an employer knows, but what an employee should know. For example, if there is record of a violent crime committed by an applicant or employee, then the employer should be aware of it.
Having a thorough, consistent screening process demonstrates the hiring duty of care. It not only shields the organization from negligent hiring lawsuits, but most importantly, it helps keep employees and customers safe. Not only will this provide peace of mind, but protect your organization from a negligent hiring lawsuit.
Here are some tools available for business to help prevent negligent hiring:
Most commonly, the first issue to arise in the hiring process is an applicant’s criminal record. Depending on how far back said crime was committed, this may or may not come up in a background check depending on the state’s laws. While some crimes may be worse than others, it is important to be aware of this background. It is recommended that applicants should be given the opportunity to explain the reasoning for their criminal record with evidence to support their claims.
Eligibility to Work in the US
The validation of approving a potential employee’s eligibility to work in the United States is a vital step in background checks that can be accomplished with a Social Security Number trace. The SSN trace verifies your employment candidate’s Social Security Number, past and present addresses and possible aliases or maiden names used, and for uncovering a candidate’s possible criminal record.
Though this is an obvious consideration before hiring, it is crucial. Fines for hiring illegal employees can range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of those working at the time.
Registered Sex Offender Search
The most obvious way of protecting your employees, clients, and company name by background screening applicants is with a search for previous sex offenders. This search is vital for job applicants in the healthcare industry, education, childcare screening, and any type of position dealing with children. The Nationwide Sex Offender Search simultaneously searches 49 states sex offender registries.