Avoiding Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

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Avoiding Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

Avoiding Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

If your company hires the wrong person and there’s just one bad incident, the consequences can be ugly. In addition to the harm it might cause to your other staff members and your property, it may also become news. This gets your company terrible press and once published online, it can be seen by anyone with an Internet browser. The damage can ruin your reputation for years to come.

The key to avoiding negligent hiring lawsuits is to conduct background checks. It’s estimated that around 80% of employers lose in negligent hiring lawsuits. The average settlement is around $2 million dollars! And there’s one simple question that settles the case – ‘Did you perform a background check?’

What Is A Negligent Hiring Lawsuit?

You could be facing a negligent hiring lawsuit if one of your employees has intentionally injured someone, whether it is a customer or co-worker. If it can be proven that you either didn’t perform adequate screening, or that you knew of the individual’s violent tendencies but didn’t take the necessary steps to prevent the incident, you can be sued for negligent hiring.

How To Perform A Background Check

As workplace violence is on the rise, there are an increasing number of services that specialize in performing employee background checks. It’s a fairly time-consuming process to do it yourself, although it’s possible. You have to find out all of the locations where the applicant has lived for the last 7 to 10 years and obtain records from those places. There is no national database that has all the information you need. Luckily, much of your search can be done online using free Web resources.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law regulating how you perform background checks. It doesn’t stop with credit reports, but covers all kinds of information ranging from violent crimes to driving records. The FCRA says that you can access this public information and use it for the purposes of hiring someone, firing them, or changing their work status. However, you must get their written permission first. Obtaining written permission for a background check has become a standard part of the hiring process.

Don’t Go With Gut Feeling

One of the biggest mistakes that employers make is that they go with their ‘gut’ instincts about a person. An individual can be just as deceptive in person as they are on paper. If your instincts tell you not to hire the person, don’t hire them. If your instincts tell you that the person is alright, get a second opinion by doing a background check. When it comes to avoiding negligent hiring lawsuits, screening everyone equally is the only way. This can save you time and money, and ensure that you’re operating a safe workplace.

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