When a person or business entity sues a company for negligence, negligent hiring can serve as the basis for liability. All negligence claimants must demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, and the defendants breach of that duty caused harm to the plaintiff. Claims based on negligent hiring allege that the act of hiring an individual was negligent on behalf of the employer. The theory of liability is that the company failed to exercise in due care in employing a person based on his or her qualifications to serve in a particular role.
In the most common type of negligent hiring case, the plaintiff will argue that an employer failed to conduct a reasonable background check to verify a persons prior employment experience, credentials, or criminal history. The reasonableness and scope of a background check may vary based on an individuals job role.
Key oversights during the hiring process could result in many different liability scenarios
- Not checking the driving history of an employee driving a company vehicle resulted in hiring an unsafe driver who caused and accident
- Failing to verify the licensing of an employee who was required to have a license for the type of work that he or she was hired to perform and the employee was responsible for an accident