Ramey & Hailey, Attorneys at Law Rated by Super lawyers The Best Lawyers in America TAOS Injury Lawyers
Free Initial Consultation Handset 317.582.0000

Employment Newsletter

The Importance of Effective Pre-Employment Screening

“Negligent hiring” is a legal doctrine that holds employers liable for unlawful acts committed by their employees. The issue arises when an employer hires a person that she knew or should have known could pose an undue risk of harm to others within the course and scope of employment.

Under this doctrine, the employer has the responsibility for checking the background and references of any job applicant before placing that individual in a situation of contact with the public. Examples of businesses particularly at risk may include:

  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Youth organizations
  • Customer-service

Establishing a Claim Under Negligent Hiring

A person that alleges injuries caused by an employee and expects to hold the employer liable under the doctrine of negligent hiring must show that:

  1. The employer owed a duty to that person because there was an association or connection between that person and the services or business the employer provides;
  2. The nature and frequency of the employee’s contact with the public may pose a potential risk of harm; and
  3. Evidence of the employee’s potential risk to others existed prior to and at the time of the hiring and that the employer failed to investigate.

Negligent Hiring Frequently Cited in Litigation

In December, 2005, the parents of an eight year-old boy filed a lawsuit against FedEx Corp., alleging the negligent hiring of Paul Sykes, a convicted sex offender. The lawsuit alleged that Sykes approached the family at the Connecticut FedEx Kinko’s store where he was employed, and offered to repair their home computer. While visiting their home to repair the computer, Sykes allegedly assaulted their son. The lawsuit asserted that FedEx knew, or should have known, of Sykes’ dangerous propensities as a sexual predator. In April of 2007 Sykes was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the molestation. In 2008, a federal judge dismissed the civil lawsuit against FedEx, ruling the company could not be held responsible for the conduct of its employee outside the workplace. The case is currently on appeal.

  • Respondeat Superior in Theory and Practice
    In general, people are not liable for the actions of others. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. One long-standing exception is the doctrine of “respondeat superior,” a Latin term meaning “let the master... Read more.
  • Workers' Compensation Law and the ADA
    The purpose of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to prevent employers from discriminating against current or prospective employees based on disability. On the other hand, state Workers’ Compensation laws are... Read more.
  • Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts
    Arbitration is an alternative to court action. The dispute is submitted to one or more neutral third persons (arbitrators), who consider the evidence and relevant law and issue a decision, just as a court would. The... Read more.
  • Proving "Supervisory Status" Under the NLRA
    In 1935, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in order to regulate labor relations and negotiations, including collective bargaining, between unionized employees and their employers. Collective bargaining is further... Read more.
Employment News Links
Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2014 - 2017 Ramey & Hailey, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
Custom WebExpress™ attorney website design by NextClient.com.