Defending Against Negligent Hiring Claims: Defenses That Do and Do Not Work
A negligent hiring claim is a legal claim that can be made against an employer after an employee causes harm to another person, and the employer knew or should have known that the individual was capable of causing harm to others. Basically, if an employer is not diligent about finding out a job candidate’s background before hiring them, they could be responsible for the individual’s actions.
If an employee or another party has filed a negligent hiring claim against you, it is crucial that you retain a skilled employment attorney as soon as possible. There are several defenses that you could raise in your case. An experienced attorney can help determine which defenses work in your case. Your attorney can also help you determine which defenses cannot work so you can avoid raising them and wasting your time.Defenses That Work in Negligent Hiring Cases
There are several defenses that employers can raise when faced with negligent hiring claims. One of the defenses that work in such claims is that you exercised due diligence and reasonable care, but the wrong candidate ended up being hired despite their efforts. However, if you raise this defense, you must show that you did everything necessary to avoid hiring the wrong candidate.
The second defense that works in negligent hiring claims is that the harm was too unconnected from your negligence. You can argue that the harm was unpredictable. For instance, suppose you negligently hired someone who has committed crimes in the past, and then they met their girlfriend or boyfriend while on the job. After three years, you fire the employee, and then sometime after the termination, the individual harms their lover. In such a case, the court will likely determine that the harm was not adequately linked to the hiring to hold you legally liable, even though, were it not for your negligent hiring, the two would not have met in the first place.
Another defense you can raise if you are facing negligent hiring allegations is that a background check would not have shown anything, so your decision not to conduct a background check is not to blame for the harm. In other words, if this is the first time the employee has been a danger to others and there was nothing that could have been located through a background check as a warning sign, that is a defense.Defenses That Cannot Work in Negligent Hiring Cases
One of the defenses that cannot work in a negligent hiring case is that background checks are too expensive. There are many inexpensive ways to screen job candidates. They include conducting in-person interviews, checking social media networks, contacting references, and conducting skill assessments.
Another defense that may not work in a negligent hiring case is that you did what other employers in the industry do. You can do what other employers in the industry do and still be guilty of failing to meet the legal duty of due diligence.Contact Us for Legal Help
If you are facing negligent hiring claims in California and need legal help, contact the skilled employment attorneys in San Francisco at SAC Attorneys LLP.