Companies Hit Hard with Negligent Hiring Lawsuits, Human Resource Managers Scramble
Staff Patrol responds to growing litigation and employment lawsuits by launching new investigative screening programs. Employers reduce their liability by connecting to the criminal record intelligence required by certain employment laws.
Miami, FL (PRWEB) July 17, 2008 - A significant legal issue is
with the potential to affect all employers. Under the doctrine of negligent hiring, employers are being sued for the improper and criminal acts of their employees. “Many businesses do not realize that there are laws requiring the use of due diligence in their hiring practices. We see strict penalties and fines surfacing daily when companies fail to properly screen their employees and contractors,” says the president and CEO of StaffPatrol.com
Vice president and legal counsel for one of the nation’s leading corporate investigation firms states, “Increasingly, companies are being sued and found negligent for hiring the wrong individuals. A professional, comprehensive investigation can prevent negligent hiring lawsuits because they improve a company’s chances of hiring good, problem-free employees. The pre-employment background investigation is also a company’s best defense should a negligent hiring lawsuit occur. They establish, often beyond doubt, that the company was prudent and acted responsibly during the hiring process,” he said.
In one case, a security guard sexually assaulted a department store executive. The woman didn’t sue the attacker; instead she sued her employer for hiring him. Staff Patrol’s president remarked, “Consider the lost revenue and man hours your company can save by hiring competent, efficient employees. Even more than ever, human resource managers must make careful hiring decisions. Background checks can go a long way in providing a productive and safe work environment while avoiding litigation as a result of negligent hiring.”
Many companies may purchase web-based access to criminal databases in an attempt to screen their employees. However, there is a big misconception about a centralized, nationwide criminal records database that reports from every jurisdiction in the United States. No such comprehensive background check exists to employers online. These “do-it-yourself” database searches may cover many jurisdictions, but they are all incomplete. U.S. Senator Herb Kohl said, “The current system of state-based background checks is haphazard, inconsistent, and full of gaping holes”.
Many hiring managers may wonder if performing a background check is worth the effort if there are no guarantees. Staff Patrol’s answer to this question is in the way these investigations are done. The key is to engage an experienced company that knows how and where to search for these criminal records. It is simply not worth the risk to your company or employees to utilize the “do-it-yourself” web-based database searches. Senator Pete Domenici says “[Quality] background checks can help protect Americans from being placed in harm’s way, whether it is our elderly, children in child care, security workers, or others.” If you do not properly check an employee for criminal records and an infraction occurs, it is almost guaranteed that you will be confronted with the potential of a serious negligent hiring lawsuit.
Average settlements in negligent hiring lawsuits are now approaching one million dollars. Juries in such cases will assume that if you could have known, you should have known. Showing that you have exercised due diligence in making your hiring decisions will dramatically decrease your chances of being found negligent.
The president of StaffPatrol.com states “Our knowledge of background investigations and the required research expertise is quite broad. The employment screening services we offer go far beyond what many businesses can do own their own. We cannot stress enough the importance of following a thorough employment screening policy and documenting your decisions. You must keep a record of why and how you selected a certain applicant. If unfortunate circumstances take place, this documentation may be your best protection. Good human resource records will not automatically protect you from being sued. However, it will significantly reduce the possibility of being found guilty of negligence or discrimination.”
About Staff Patrol, Inc. - Staff Patrol provides investigative services for both commercial clients and individuals. The primary business model is to offer affordable and effective background check solutions using advanced technology and personally monitored service. Staff Patrol is becoming one of the most respected resources for individual and business security. For more information, visit www.staffpatrol.com/employers.htm